9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (Audio CD)
This is my first taste of Yo La Tengo. After it kept appearing on my music recommendations list from Amazon I decided to take the plunge. I've been stung before this way (Mercury Rev - which I absolutely hated) but I thought why not, £6.97 is barely more than a packet of fags and it can't possibly be any worse than Mercury Rev. I have to say I'm impressed and I wish I'd listened to this band before.
What we have on "I'm Not Afraid Of You And I'll Beat Your Ass" is an extremely eclectic mix of music varying form soul to good rock numbers through varying degrees of jazziness and indieness. The album opens and closes with two long tracks, the excellent 'Pass the hatchet I think I'm longkind' and the equally as good 'Story of Yo La Tengo'. Both in their near-shoegazing ways remind me of the excellent and almost completely overlooked "Amusement Parks on Fire". Between these two thick slices lies a sandwich filling of infinite variety most of which works excellently.
Highlights of the filling include the slow-paced downer of "I feel like going home" sung by Ira Kaplan, the McCartneyesque "Black Flowers", the Byrds-like "The race is on again" and the Velvet Underground inspired "I should have known better". Then again virtually all of the tracks are good here. The one duff track in my opinion is Mr Tough. It just sounds...well to be honest this could be The Scissor Sisters as my daughter helpfully pointed out - and she was right. This is a really dislikeable track. But....saying that the quality of rest of the album more than makes up for this one blemish.
I've listened to this quite a lot now and I think its growing on me. I didn't include it in my top 10 albums of 2006 but I'd say it's touch and go - this could easily make it sometime.
Give this a go, especially if you haven't come across this band before. you'll be pleasantly surprised like me. Something for everyone.