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And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out

Yo La Tengo

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Album Review

After years as one of indie rock's standard-bearing groups, Yo La Tengo surpasses itself with And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out. A culturally literate, emotionally rich album, on songs like "Let's Save Tony Orlando's House," "The Crying of Lot G," and "The Last Days of Disco," it alludes to The Simpsons, enigmatic author Thomas Pynchon and independent films while exploring the comforting, confining, complex aspects of relationships. "Our Way to Fall" sets Ira Kaplan's recollection of falling in love to a dreamy, down-to-earth backdrop of gently brushed drums, luminous organs and vibes; "The Crying of Lot G" transforms the syrupy sweetness of '50s ballads into a monologue about a relationship's shortcomings. "Madeline"'s shimmery indie bossa-nova and the countrified ballad "Tears Are in Your Eyes" showcase Georgia Hubley's buttery, empathetic voice; her singing makes these vignettes universal as well as personal. Like mature indie rock records such as Pavement's Terror Twilight and Jim O'Rourke's Eureka, And Then Nothing... favors mellow songwriting, detailed arrangements, and eclectic influences, such as the Silver Apples-like drum machines and doo wop backing vocals that adorn many of the songs. The wintry, implosive "Everyday" uses both of these elements, along with a plaintive guitar and hushed, hypnotic vocals, to begin the album on a surprisingly somber note. Similarly, the off-kilter beats, odd piano bursts, and harmonies on "Saturday" add to the song's awkward, uneasy beauty. Finally, nine songs into the album, Yo La Tengo breaks out the whammy and feedback action on "Cherry Chapstick," their most incandescent song since "Sugarcube." Easily one of 2000's most accomplished albums, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out isn't as immediate as some of the group's earlier work, but it's just as enduring, proving that Yo La Tengo is the perfect band to grow old with.

Customer Reviews

One of their best albums

And a great, moody album, hard to get out of your head. Their cover of "You Can Have It All" is such a shot of fun.

Biography

Formed: 1984 in Hoboken, NJ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Yo La Tengo are in many respects the quintessential critics' band: in addition to their adventurous eclecticism, defiant independence, and restless creative ambition — three qualities that virtually guarantee music press acclaim — the group's frontman, Ira Kaplan, even tenured as a rock scribe prior to finding success as a performer. So frequently compared to the Velvet Underground that they even portrayed the legendary group in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol, the Hoboken, New Jersey-based...
Full Bio

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