You won't get me enthusing about music very easily. This record is an exception. Largely neglected by the public (or most music critics), Yo La Tengo have built up a back catalogue of records that will, possibly, some day establish them as one of the great rock bands of the 1990s. Well, hopefully, anyway.
Painful, released in 1993, has been on top of my list of favourite records for a long time now, and has never ever become boring. Sporting a more direct approach than on their later albums, this is reminiscent of My Bloody Vanlentine vs. Sonic Youth, but played with clearly more emotion (and, alas, expertise) than either of the other groups ever had.
The quiet songs are intense, and so are the loud ones; a direct comparison between the two versions of "Big Day Coming" easily proves that both are winners. Heck, even the instrumental track at the end ("I Heard You Looking") is great.
This record should be in everybody's collection. Even if they have only one record.