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I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

Yo La Tengo

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iTunes Editors' Notes

Yo La Tengo have learned quite a bit over their three decade-spanning career, exploring every crevice of alternative rock and making it over in their own image. I Am Not Afraid of You was three years in the making and its 15 tracks feature all the intensity and variety that longtime fans have come to count on. The album is bookended by two feedback fueled jams that remain melodic and focused, rooted in the mechanical beats of the Velvet Underground and stretching out from there. “Beanbag Chair” provides their take on ephemeral French pop. “I Feel Like Going Home” is a morning-sun-breaking-over-the-horizon piano ballad. The piano, in fact, has become their unlikely weapon of choice, after years of guitar-centric jangle and twist. “Mr. Tough, “ “Black Flowers,” “The Weakest Part” and “Song for Mahila” all center on piano figures that give the album an unusual sitting-room luxury. After years of belting it out in cramped rock clubs, Yo La Tengo have found their way to the parlor for a little R&R, be it rock n’ roll or rest n’ relaxation.

Customer Reviews

Another welcome addition to the catalog

One of the things that appeal to me about this band is their ability to flip between varied styles without anything sounding too labored. This album has all the bases covered. It's not as immediate as 'I can hear the heart beating as one" or "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out" but that works in it's favor - you really needed a few plays before it begins to get into your system. I've been walking around singing Mr. Tough solidly for 2 weeks now and it's not getting old. See this band live if you can.

Buy with joy!

It's your classic wide range of influences bound together with huge musicality and humility and humour and heart. Typical of them in lots of ways and a further maturing of their approach. Smart and loose and essential. Probably not the place to start for a new listener (get Electropura and Painful for your starter pack) but a good choice to bring you up to date. Buy it soon. Mr.Susan


This is Yo La Tengo's 10th album, the product of 20 years of indie rock that has headed all over the shop - pop to jazz to 60s revival and electro-dance. I'm Not Afraid Of You is one of the band's more relaxed albums, and effortlessly mature, with a sound that can best be called impressive pop, but with layers of quality that 'pop' doesn't properly convey. Imagine (if it doesn't mess with your head) the Scissor Sisters mainlining Velvet Underground or the Pixies and you won't be far away. It's fun, rewarding, and it sounds as though a good time was had in the making. The experimentation largely pays off. If there's a criticism, it's that the album rarely burns itself into the attention span - it's more nice, solid, good... Words like that, rather than 'outstanding', 'excellent'. More focus on one style would be good, but that's not Yo La Tengo's modus operandi.


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...
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