Yo La Tengo

Painful

  • OLE-069-2
  • Release Date: January 22nd 2002
  • $11.99

The musical evolution of yo la tengo continued on 1993's 'painful'. the group's tendency to veer between soft-and-slow and hard-and-fast remains - as demonstrated in the two wildly different versions of 'big day coming' - but as whole, the record shows increasingly nuanced songwriting by kaplan and hubley and greater variety in their overall sound. the addition of organ provides another sonic dimension, evoking a mood of tender fragility on the love song 'nowhere near' and adding a caustic urgency to 'sudden organ.' what's also notable here is that yo la tengo, who have always acknowledged the influence of both the old and the new, have begun to sound more and more like their influences. 'from a motel 6' with its soft, trance-like vocals and monolithic guitar attack eerily evokes the twisted '90s psychedelia of seminal british shoe-gazers my bloody valentine. throughout, the record brims with rich guitar textures, from the shimmery instrumental 'superstar watcher' and the burnished ripple of 'a worrying thing' to the metallic whomp of version 2 of 'big day coming.' yo la tengo continues its tradition of unexpected cover songs with 'the whole of the law' by punk cult faves the only ones.