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Summer Sun [CD]

Yo La Tengo Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 8.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Fade is the most direct, personal and cohesive album of Yo La Tengo's career. Recorded with John McEntire at Soma Studios in Chicago, it recalls the sonic innovation and lush cohesion of career high points like 1997‘s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One and 2000’s …And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. The album is a tapestry of fine melody and elegant noise, ... Read more in Amazon's Yo La Tengo Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Summer Sun + And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out + I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
Price For All Three: 26.24

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 April 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Matador
  • ASIN: B00008GEKS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,592 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Beach Party Tonight 3:070.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Little Eyes 4:200.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Nothing But You and Me 5:150.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Season of the Shark 4:290.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Today Is the Day 5:340.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Tiny Birds 5:090.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. How to Make a Baby Elephant Float 3:290.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Georgia Vs. Yo La Tengo 3:590.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Don't Have to Be So Sad 5:540.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Winter A-Go-Go 3:230.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Moonrock Mambo 4:490.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Let's Be Still10:260.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Take Care 2:340.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description


Nineteen years and 11 albums haven't dulled or lessened the restless eclecticism of Hoboken's enduring avant-rockers Yo La Tengo. Summer Sun follows 2000's minor breakthrough albumAnd Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out and like that album, it is the sound of warm, slow-burning enchantment. Yo La Tengo's feat is the way in which their wildly adventurous music sounds so understated and natural. Summer Sun embraces everything from brooding slo-core, kitsch bossa nova 60s pop through to rhythmic and folky electronica without ever sounding contrived or forced.

The gorgeous "Today is the Day" evokes the much-referenced Velvet Underground right down to Georgia Hubley's measured, somnambulant lilt. "Don't Have To Be So Sad" pares shuffling beats with tinkling keys, suggesting a fantasy collaboration between Four Tet and those other masters of downtempo--Low. "Let's be Still" is jazz-inflected pop and the closing Big Star cover "Take Care" is near perfect; an exquisite bittersweet parting shot to the end of a relationship. In their 40s and after nearly 20 years together making music, Yo La Tengo shouldn't sound this good. That they do is no small reason to rejoice. --Suzannah Brown

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beach Party Tonight! 18 Nov 2003
Format:Audio CD
Yo La Tengo - they've been around longer than the Flaming Lips, right? Yet like the Lips, they're producing some of the best music of their career, but thanks to much subtler use of electronica and acres and acres of keyboards.
Beach Party Tonight is a gorgeous, wispy opener that never really starts, leading into Little Eyes. Little Eyes, a lush tune, much like Season of the Shark, both carry a passing nod to Grandaddy, but with gentle, soothing vocals and calming keyboards. The songs themselves are deep and very mature (as you'd expect from these oldies), and these two are probably the most mainstream on the album.
Today Is The Day is a beautiful, seize the day moment in typical Yo La Tengo laidback tones - the guitar lines are lazy and suggest a contradiction to the subject matter in their ability to while away the day. Don't Have To Be So Sad and Nothing But You And Me are brilliant examples of keyboards being used to drive a song, or to let it flow wistfully - Nothing But You And Me a brilliant example of this.
This album is a great chill-out album - and we should be thankful that many people discover it because of it's relaxive properties. Yet there's so much more to it than that - brilliant musicianship, gorgeously understated vocals, and miles and miles of mature human comment. A gem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars summer sun...muic for a summers evening 25 April 2003
Format:Audio CD
...i was never sure that i was a yo la tengo fan until hearing this album....the album title sweeps you into the mood of the tracks it holds...just lay back, feel the early evening summer sun shine in through the window and listen with your eyes closed.
gentle, atmospheric and thoughtful lyrics...'how to make a baby elephant float'...song titles to fall in love with...
not like anything else with predominantly male vocals in my record collection...and i am glad it has found a home there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sure to grow with you 7 April 2003
By Fargini
Format:Audio CD
Much like its predecessor, this album will likely take some time to
fully absorb. There is so much in it that, with initial listens, you'll feel somewhat estranged. It is a quiet album to be played loud, and every time you hear it, you WILL notice something different- another texture to the songs. YLTs' songs set moods like few do these days, and this is a gem of an album, cuddling in warm, gently-unveiling experimental sounds, slo-mo funky bass-driven pieces, to whispered musical landscapes that are hypnotic yet never still. This is is the sound of a band who know each other, having fun and becoming one. If you are familiar with them,'Summer Sun' has the variety of sounds of 'I can hear the heart...' blended with the intimate feeling of ' And then nothing turned...' plus the experimental fun of 'The sounds of the sounds of Science'(check their website for this). This is a jazz album done by some of the best pop songwriters today. Standouts are 'little eyes', the Kinda-Kinks 'Season of the Shark', 'Today is the day', the meditative groove of ' Let's be still', and the closing 'Take care', which is better than the original if I may say so. This band- you'll either fall in love with or disregard, give them a chance and they just might change your sunday afternoons for good.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool sounds of Yo La Tenga 11 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I love to listen to this album after a stressful day. It really is like a piece of the summer sun in my bedroom. My favourite song is Nothing But You And Me. The soft, growly voice and discords make for a sexy track. I also like Moonrock Mambo. And all the songs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nothing formulatic about it 17 Sep 2003
By Nathan Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I gotta confess that it doesn't surprise me people have decided this is The Decline of Yo La Tengo since it rolls back the guitars and the lyrics are more direct. I saw the same exact thing happen with the last two R.E.M. albums. The common logic seems to be that neither band is being true to its original eclectic vision (not that R.E.M. was ever half as eclectic as YLT, wonderful as both bands may be).
My answer is -- what vision? If we're going to hurl these accusations, what is it exactly that we're expecting? If "Let's Be Still" and "Today is the Day" and "Nothing But You and Me" are being seen as steps backward, and a return to feedback-laden pop bliss wouldn't be, then I'd better just give up on understanding popular music right now.
By the way, this album IS pop bliss, start to finish. I loved the band's older records too, every one of 'em, although May I Sing with Me is my least favorite by quite a margin, but if you want to hear that stuff, it's not like they're confiscating your copies. I wouldn't necessarily recommend "Summer Sun" as a first purchase - go with "Fakebook," "I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One," or their masterpiece IMO, "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out" - but it does show off the fact that intricate, warm pop music didn't die with the Beach Boys.
In a sense, of course, whether or not you may like this could have something to do with your usual taste in music. It really does lack any rock & roll intensity, making it unique in that regard aside from "Fakebook," and the reason "May I Sing with Me" didn't appeal to me was the fact that it was basically one raveup after another. So if you don't run off in terror at the notion of quiet music, "Summer Sun" may well be the best album since... well, the last Yo La Tengo record.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Junkmedia.org Review - It it's too quiet, you're too young! 15 April 2003
By junkmedia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Yo La Tengo were forced to rush the sequencing and mixing of this record in order to make a production deadline. Although the rush job shows, the strengths of Summer Sun's songs work hard to overcome what's missing otherwise.
This is a band that would have a hard time making a bad album. Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew have always made music with an intuitive sense that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One summed up the band's approach perfectly.
The band's instrumental score to the nature films by Jean Painleve, collected on last year's The Sounds of the Sounds of Science filled the gap between 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out and this new album. And Then Nothing... was mellow compared to prior outings, yet anything but easy-going, with the calmness of the songs crossed with emotionally frank lyrics about the ups and downs of marriage, personal anxieties and depression. The less-is-more approach looms large in Yo La Tengo's legend. Referencing an old KISS t-shirt that reads "If it's too loud, you're too old," Kaplan once chastised a raucous, inattentive audience: "If it's too quiet, you're too young."
YLT's best music is often in its longer numbers, in which the band takes time to stretch out and let simple sounds establish great power. "Let's Be Still" is Summer Sun's best track, and its longest, at over ten minutes. The song is based on a beautiful groove built from a piano sample and Hubley's magnificently understated drumming. A cover of Big Star's "Take Care" -- a melancholy Alex Chilton ballad that YLT has played live for years -- rounds out the album.
Summer Sun doesn't have the collective impact of its predecessors, a problem typically attributable to song selection, sequencing and mixing. The songs here are good, but even when the heart beats as one, it's a bit too faint to hear.
Ric Dube
Junkmedia.org Review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hushed whisper of a record. 11 April 2003
By M. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
(three and a half stars, rounded up because Yo La Tengo deserve every benefit of the doubt.)

Yo La Tengo are back with their proper follow-up to their 2000 masterpiece "And then nothing turned itself inside-out," and I'll warn you now: if that one was too soft for you, don't dare waste your money on Summer Sun.

Instead of returning to the eclectic sound of their earlier records, the Hoboken trio have carved another record of tender subtly and grace. The problem here is that the sweetness is not anchored by anything darker and more brooding, which is what made "And then Nothing..." succeed so completely.

This record sacrifices the cerebral to maintain a constant mood, and the result, though utterly grogeous in moments, does not better Yo La Tengo's previous ground. Both "And then nothing..." and 1997's brilliant "I can feel the heart beating as one" NEVER had washover moments. Though rarely keeping a completely consistant mood, I would argue that every single song on those records was a winner.

This is simply not true of "Summer Sun"- the meandering 10 minute+ "Let's be Still" has yet to keep my attention, and I am a patient music listener. I love Ira, but "Nothing but you and Me" has to be one of his worst vocal performances in recent history- it feels like re-hashed, b-side "And then nothing" material, as he pleads to try again at a failed relationship. "Don't have to be so sad," as well, is a bit too sparse to not become simple background noise, if lovely background noise.

And NO rock at all?? I understand evolution for bands, but "Cherry Chapstick" was GLORIOUS drone, and that was only a few years ago! We have absolutely nothing of remotely upbeat nature here. That gets me down, I hate to say.

That said, there are a handful of total winners here. "Beach Party Tonight," the excellent drony opener, feels like a world of possibilities in three minute's time. Georgia is, for the most part, totally on vocally with these tracks- "Little Eyes," and "Today is the Day" are beautiful in every sense. And the closing "Take Care," as many reviews have said, is a trancendent 2-and-a-half-minute cover that points to even better times on the next record.

So what does this all add up to? "Summer Sun" is at once a lovely album and one of Yo La Tengo's less successful. But this confirms even more just how amazing this group is, that even a slight backstep is a gorgeous listen. And Yo La Tengo are still one of the most consistant and wonderful bands indie rock has to give us.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Summer Sun 18 Mar 2004
By Jellybones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
While labeled by most as a mediocre follow-up to an also mediocre release by a once-great, I was not to be turned away. I placed my order and patiently waited. I'll admit, I hadn't been following every Yo La Tengo release, and while I had their previous album my teeth were cut on oldies such as "New Wave Hot Dogs" and "May I Sing With Me". This album quickly embedded itself into the dark crevices of my hippocampus, sitting alongside other summer releases of that year ( somehow I'll always hear the beginning of "Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style" by Sonic Youth begin right after "Summer of the Shark" in the asylum of my mind ). But the months passed, the newness wore, and I would probably have rated this album as good, if slightly forgettable.
Then we were lucky enough in Jacksonville to have Yo La come through and play for the first time in like 10 years. The show was interesting, in an all seated theatre. But they performed nearly every song on this album, regardless of demand for nostalgic classics. Powerful, that show has stayed with me. It made songs like "Today is the Day", "Lets Be Still" and the magnificent "Take Care" take corporeal form, and now I listen to the CD with new ears, understanding new depths. The personalities of the players shine through, like Ira's lyrical novocain on "Little Eyes" and Georgia's smarmy keyboarding on "Georga vs. Yo La Tengo". Maybe its just my perception but this album is astounding, and a step forward for the `Tengo if you ask me, not some run of the mill release from an inert has been as others might lead you to believe.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Genius Band. Pretty Record. 15 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm a huge YLT fan. Ever since the early nineties gem 'PAINFUL' found it's way to my ears - the band has grown and matured beautifully. "And Then Nothing.." was a wonderfully majestic piece of brilliance. This one stays on the same drifty course but tends to drift a bit too much in certain places. Love the band, like the record. Would have liked to hear more of the risk taking YLT have been known for. Georgia's voice is great here though.
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