And Then Nothing Turned...
Yo La Tengo
|Yo La Tengo's 11th album is a relentlessly satisfying, slyly low-key affair with shimmery organs, muted soft-brush drumming, loping bass lines, casually strummed guitars, and interlocking rounds of hushed vocal harmonies. Yes, this is Yo La Tengo we're talking about, a band that formerly rivaled the Dream Syndicate in feedback squall--tastes of which do appear on the uptempo "Cherry Chapstick." Nothing is the most the trio--Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew--have explored their interests in atmosphere, drone, and minimalist song structure since a handful of '90s club dates under the name Sleeping Pill. So, the consistently subdued tone is not without precedent, and any YLT fan knows that they have steadily evolved and reshaped their sound since forming in 1984. But what is remarkable about Nothing (aside from its erudite genre-mixing and USDA-choice melodies) is that it's consistent; this is the group's most coherent, thematically linked CD since 1990's Fakebook. As further cement, it has never been easier to decipher what husband and wife Ira and Georgia are singing about: their love for each other, from flirtatious first encounters to the arduous task of surviving skirmishes. Subtle and surprising--the singing alone is to die for--the record squirms away from whichever genre trap one attempts to fashion for it. Just call it indie rock for grownups, turn it up real loud, and get lost.|