16 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Yo La Tengo is a rock band populated by rock geeks; most notably, singer/guitarist Ira Kaplan wrote about rock before he made his name playing it. Maybe that's why the trio's 1990 album—featuring mostly cover versions—works so well; it's like a fantastic mixtape made by a friend with a deep and eclectic record collection. The material jumps between decades and genres, drawing from Yo La Tengo forebears that seem by turns obvious (The Kinks, John Cale, The Flying Burrito Brothers), unexpected (Cat Stevens, The Holy Modal Rounders), and truly obscure (Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers, The Escorts). Two more contemporary acts get the cover treatment, too: Daniel Johnston (a singer/songwriter/eccentric who was pretty much unknown upon this release but in following years attracted a sizable cult) and The Scene Is Now (a quirky pop band that remains pretty much unknown even today). Little of the hard-rocking, noise-happy Yo La Tengo is evident here. Most of the covers are tender, chiming takes that hew more or less faithfully to their sources, while the five original songs find the band in the dream-pop mode it's always done well.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Yo La Tengo is a rock band populated by rock geeks; most notably, singer/guitarist Ira Kaplan wrote about rock before he made his name playing it. Maybe that's why the trio's 1990 album—featuring mostly cover versions—works so well; it's like a fantastic mixtape made by a friend with a deep and eclectic record collection. The material jumps between decades and genres, drawing from Yo La Tengo forebears that seem by turns obvious (The Kinks, John Cale, The Flying Burrito Brothers), unexpected (Cat Stevens, The Holy Modal Rounders), and truly obscure (Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers, The Escorts). Two more contemporary acts get the cover treatment, too: Daniel Johnston (a singer/songwriter/eccentric who was pretty much unknown upon this release but in following years attracted a sizable cult) and The Scene Is Now (a quirky pop band that remains pretty much unknown even today). Little of the hard-rocking, noise-happy Yo La Tengo is evident here. Most of the covers are tender, chiming takes that hew more or less faithfully to their sources, while the five original songs find the band in the dream-pop mode it's always done well.

TITLE TIME

More By Yo La Tengo

You May Also Like