Yo La Tengo - Summer Sun

Yo La Tengo
Summer Sun
Matador Records

Watch out! Those happy-go-lucky kids from Hoboken, New Jersey are at it again. Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew of Yo La Tengo give a volatile spread of tunes on the bands newest project Summer Sun. This album follows in the darker, moodier roots of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out and seeks to marry Yo La Tengo’s love of quirky pop tunes, with their fascination for the scattered, atmospheric chaos of jazz-influenced improvisation. Gone from this album is the heavy chug-a-lug guitars fuzz that was a Yo La Tengo trademark on their earlier albums Electro-O-Pura and I Can Hear the Hear Beating as One.

Have no fear, they still have an edge.

Always the merry pranksters, Ira and Georgia toss their stylistic beach ball back and forth between songs, leaving the listener to smile through the tears, and laughing at the heartache. An example is the track "Season of the Shark," an upbeat, cliché of a pop song that sets you up for an emotional slide, as the sultrier track "Today is the Day" takes over. The lighter songs on Summer Sun overlay a bitter undercurrent, while the darker tracks project an unwavering optimism. It is as if someone is calling you to tell you that you are dying, but that you just won a million dollars. Confused? No matter, Ira and Georgia will see you through. Summer Sun is a beautiful album, an honest album, and one that you’ll play over and over again.