US - New Jersey - Full Moon 42 - 03/20/00
Yo La Tengo
And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out
Oh, how we have awaited this one: a new album from Hoboken-trio Yo La Tengo. It's
been almost 3 years since their last studio album (not counting Strange But True,
the recordings they did with Jad Fair, which was released in 1998.) From the rumors of
sneak-previews just before Xmas, this new record was said to be a Godsend beauty, which
easily could've made it to the top of the lists when recalling the last decade of rock.
Could that be true?
Once again they've gone to Nashville (visiting Lambchop? Kurt Wagner and Jonathan Marx
are "greeted" in the liner-notes) for recording, and once again it's Roger Moutenot who's
been in charge of the production (he's been working with YLT since Painful, 1993).
Everyday opens the ball; a slow and low-voiced, almost scary, dark beauty, and one
of their finest moments ever. And it's seems like they've decided to get stuck in a slow
and quiet mood or mode throughout the album. Our Way to Fall (jazzy, strolling),
Saturday (also released as a single), Last Days of Disco (nice drumming,
smooth guitars - inspired by the Whit Stillman film?), The Crying of Lot G (absolutely lovely!),
and From Black to Blue are all dazed pop ballads, cruising along, showing their Velvet
Underground (among others) influences. Let's Save Tony Orlando's House (Tony O. -
early 70's rock crooner) has got a rhythmic groove, making your feet start tapping, but
it's still in line with most of the other songs of highly sedative rock on the album.
As always they do a cover song, You Can Have It All by one Harry Wayne Casey,
an indeed rhythmically amusing and catchy song with Georgia's fragile, angel-like voice
underneath Ira's evergoing "ba-ba-bah" chorus. Then comes the tear-stained country-ballad
Tears Are in Your Eyes, being so good and sad it almost hurts. When in Nashville,
do as...etc. It's not until song 9, with the Sugarcube-ish Cherry Chapstick
they speed up a bit, with Steve-Shelley-of-Sonic-Youth-type drumming and more noisy guitars.
The only song I sort of dislike is the awkward, but rather ordinary instrumental Tired
Hippo. Then Yo La Tengo close the album as only Yo La Tengo can: with the nearly 18
minutes (!) long slow-flowing lament Night Falls On Hoboken. A declaration of love
to home? Or simply declaring their love for creating and performing music? What is true is
that Yo La Tengo shows magic, by - once again - giving us the reason for showing them the
devotion they deserve.
And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out is the perfect follow up to I Can
Feel The Heart Beating as One. It's almost like the titles follow each other as part
of the same poem, or lyric. Right? The music of Yo La Tengo sneaks under your skin, into
your veins, and goes straight to your heart. And turns it inside-out. Overwhelming and
intoxicating. Pure bliss. Music to cure almost everything, from, say, seizures to broken
hearts. Thanks, Georgia, Ira, and James. Yo La Tengo for president!
Distribution in Norway: Tuba!
Copyright © 2000 Håvard Oppøyen