Yo La Tengo : This Stupid World

New Jersey’s Yo La Tengo are an indie rock institution. The three piece which consists of Ira Kaplan, Georgie Hubley, and James McNew formed in 1984 with Kaplan and Hubley. They released their first album Ride The Tiger in 1986, and McNew joined the band in 1992 for the album May I Sing With Me.

With 1993s Painful Yo La Tengo shifted their sound into more atmospheric territory, bringing in a far more vast palate of sound and influence. Noise rock, ambient, soundtrack, and brill building pop were all present on their records with the trio becoming one of the most influential and revered rock bands over the last 30 years.

On the band’s newest album, This Stupid World, Yo La Tengo have made their best record in nearly 15 years. The songs are concise, rhythmic, and shows that nearly 40 years into being a band Kaplan, Hubley, and McNew show no signs of slowing down.

“Sinatra Drive Breakdown” opens on wobbly noise and a motorik beat that is just as much YLT as it is NEU!. Kaplan slathers layers of guitar noise over the proceedings before his ethereal whisper of a vocal comes in. YLT revel in noise and melody, and this song is primo YLT. “Fallout” falls somewhere between folk rock and shoegaze, showcasing the band’s knack for melody and pop hooks. “Aselestine” is a breezy dream pop track with Georgia’s ethereal vocals. “Tonight’s Episode” is frenetic and disorienting in the best way possible. Art rock, Krautrock, and New York’s noise scene coming together perfectly, while “Apology Letter”, “Brain Capers”, and album closer “Miles Away” are songs from a band still firing on all cylinders.

This Stupid World locks into the best of what came before, and in-particular 1995s Painful to 2009s Popular Songs. Though you could say that run really has never stopped. Almost four decades in and this little band from New Jersey continue to inspire, and be inspired.

2 thoughts on “Yo La Tengo : This Stupid World

  1. Yep! I picked this record up on release date – and I Always find it’s been hit or miss recently. Never bad but never great either. This one changes things. The playing on this is excellent, the arrangements go from pop, to garage to borderline M b v type songs. It’s a mix bag and all the better for it. Oh and the bonus track on the vinyl is neat too! A treat from a band around as long as YLT!

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think? Let me know

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.