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

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iTunes Review

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

Yo La Terrific

I've been riding the wild and woolly rollercoaster of rock with Yo La Tengo ever since I discovered my navel back in 1991, and a new release by them is reason enough to call in sick and stay home with the headphones on, preferably in the bathtub. Each album has it's own vibe-eriffic thing going on, alternating between fuzzy abandon and wild abandoned fuzz, with a few heart-warming confectionaries thrown in just to remind us how to be sweet. While their last few albums have been moody and reflective, this one is proving to be rambunctious and pure. A few messy rock songs, like 'The Room Got Heavy' and 'Pass the Hatchet' are thick enough to clog your drains (in a good way!), but sweetwater numbers like 'Sometimes I Don't Get You' and 'Beanbag Chair' clear the passage so that the honey can drip down. Ira, Georgia, and the other guy... I love you.

dare I say their best yet?

I've never been a huge fan of Yo La Tengo as I always felt their albums were decent, but too disjointed to work as a cohesive album. They've finally managed to do what I've always hoped, and that's take all of the different influences they borrow from and mix them perfectly into their own unique brand of musical genius. This album rocks like Mogwai and My Bloody Valentine simultenously, then turns around and gives us Marvin Gaye style vocals and emotion without sounding like they're giving it any effort. There is simply so much to sink your teeth into that it's impossible to catch all of the brilliant quirkiness with just a few listens. Having said that, this album has been playing on my ipod all day. I can't wait to listen to this a hundred more times before the year ends! Don't think too long....just buy this!

The Best Album Of The Year (or the last ten years)

All I can say about this record is that it is up there in terms of ambition, scope, experimentation and execution along with The White Album, Pet Sounds, The Velvet Underground And Nico, London Calling, Marquee Moon and Exile On Main Street. These songs are the sound of a great seminal band stretching themselves in ways that most bands don't anymore. Thanks, Yo La Tengo. For making great and challenging music in an age where it seems to no longer exist.


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 Yo...
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