It's impossible to approach this record on any other terms but its own. Of course, you shouldn't really approach anything on other terms but its own. But hey, that's just the way we function. We need something to hold on to. Preconceptions are practical, for sure. We probably wouldn't be able to cope with this messed up world of ours (and the messed up lives we lead in it) if we didn't have them. But this one is out there on its own. There's just nothing like it. So don't even bother.
Also, this is one of those pop/rock/indie/alternative/orwhateveryouwannacallit albums that completely transcends its limitations, i.e. the limitation of being just a pop/rock/indie/alternative/orwhateveryouwannacallit album. Furthermore, it makes utter nonsense of our silly attempts to categorize this and pin down that. Yes, Yo La Tengo's influences are as obvious as always. They love their influences and have never been afraid to express that love. And yet, Yo La Tengo are nothing if not unique. You would never mistake them for anything else. And never has that been more true than on And then nothing turned itself inside-out. This is simply their bravest, most uncompromising and most beautiful effort yet.
So sit down, take a few deep breaths and listen to this album straight through (which is the only sensible way to listen to any good record). And when you get to the end of the last very long track and you don't agree with me that this is a masterpiece, well, then I can't help you.
Those of you who are fond of recreational pharmaceuticals please be warned.If you plan on buying this album (if you can drag yourself away from Trance Nation 2004 that is )please do not listen to whilst high. Because you might never come back down- lost forever in a swirling vortex of hushed, breathy vocals and gently carousing instrumentation. There have been two dozen Yo La Tengo induced comas reported in the last twlve months in Britain alone. Dont let this put you off though, for this is possibly one of the most wonderful albums ever made. Right from the very start, as a disembodied heart beats steadily, you are encased in a bubble of lush strings and plaintive emotions as the five minute songs gently lull you into submission, and you stop whatever it was you were doing and just sit there, eyes closed, mouth slightly agape- transfixed and utterly paralysed. So complete is this inertia that when the calm is broken by the feedback drenched squall of " Cherry Chapstick " it feels as if you have been hit round the head with a frying pan, jolted suddenly back into the world and forced to sit up straight. Immediately after though, peace is resumed, and you soon find yourself cocooned for the langurous finale as Night Falls on Hoboken, and the whole world. The first half of the album is the strongest, and in "Tears are in Your Eyes" is crafted a pop song so beautiful and haunting it can (and has) made grown men weep. Some people may find it too slow and become fidgety, concerned with the lack of crunchy guitar hooks, but I really cannot recommend this album stongly enough to anyone with a pulse, I guarantee you'll listen to it everyday.
It starts with a beat, like a heart but more discordant, a nod to the last overlong and oblique album title. "Everyday" tries its best to stay remote, and succeeds. You wonder why they've opened with this, its slow, a monotone. You'd call it a dirge, but you don't like to think Yo La Tengo do dirges. So you stick with it, all six minutes, and wonder if you'll be rewarded. You are. And how. Its no exaggeration to say that the sublimely beautiful "Our Way To Fall" captures perfectly the playful choreographing of two lovers coming together for the first time, its brushed drums and breathy vocals marching to a slow-time to-and-fro waltz. By now you're in for the ride. Yo La Tengo are in love and so are you. Ira plucks up the courage for the first dance ("Last Days Of Disco"), initial awkwardness giving way to give-in-to-the-moment contentedness. "the song said 'let's be happy'. I was happy"... Yo La Tengo fight, but tenderly. Love wins out on "The Crying Of Lot G". Ira talks us through an argument, or rather finds his voice after the slamming of the door. He's preparing his speech for when, moments later, mistakes are realised and forgiven. "Don't have to smile at me, don't have to talk, all that I ask is you stop and remember, it isn't always this way"... Like the tentative dance moves, words become simpler and simpler the more the truth unfolds: "the way that I feel when you laugh, is like laughing; the way that I feel when you cry, is so bad..." Georgia understands too, gently redressing the balance with "Tears Are In Your Eyes", a song seemingly written to make grown men weep. Along the way, our hosts pick up the pace to laugh at The Simpsons ("Let's Save Tony Orlando's House"), turn cheesy 70s pop into a relentless human beatbox ("You Can Have It All") and beat Sonic Youth at their own game ("Cherry Chapstick"). But it's the slow, languid ones that will stick with you, until Yo La Tengo put you to bed with "Night Falls On Hoboken". Its 2am on a hot summer's night and Yo La Tengo are sitting out on the porch, casting their gaze to the stars and each other, like the man on the cover seemingly enveloped in light. They could end here, but ah, what the hell, they decide, lets roll on into the night. It doesn't stop because the world's gone to bed. Hell, when you're in love, the magic never stops. Leaving you with a smile on your face. Every day.
I needed a little bit of convincing to like this record, but I perceived and was rewarded. After the first couple of plays you will wonder what all the fuss is about, although in the back of you mind parts linger and gradually with more exposure it will all fall in to place. All the tracks (excluding the last '17mins!') are warm and understated without ever being sweet, with the album drifting along in a hushed whisper. Not one for the car or the walkman, but a pot of coffee and the sunday papers.
This album represents Yo La Tengo at their most laid-back (although I don't mean that as any form of criticism). Whilst (for me) this album is not quite up to the standard of their 1997 release I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One or 2006's I Am Not Afraid Of You, etc, it has some great, indeed beautiful, moments. My main criticism would be that, unlike the aforementioned albums, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out is too one-paced i.e. slow, and whilst YLT have produced more sublime ballads than most bands could dream of, they slightly overdo it here.
That said, YLT have once again managed to construct some beautifully melodic songs in Our Way To Fall, Let's Save Tony Orlando's House, The Crying Of Lot G, You Can Have It All and Madeline. For me, however, the album has two particular highlights. First, is the achingly beautiful Tears Are In Your Eyes, on which Georgia's vocals have never been more impressive. Second, is what for me is a contender as the greatest ever YLT song, the marvellous, punchy and Ira-feedback-infused Cherry Chapstick. This is vying with Blue Line Swinger and The Story of YLT (and maybe one or two others) as my favourite YLT song. Odd, I guess, given that this is the most uptempo song on the album.
My final comment is that the album is (like most YLT releases, in fact) a real grower. Definitely another impressive YLT release.
I first discovered YLT back in September 2000 when I was browsing the CD racks in my local Borders. Being intrigued by the cover and the title of the album I just went ahead and bought it purely on the basis of "it looked interesting". I'd never heard of them up to this point in time and I had no idea what to expect. I played it in the car for the 30 min drive home and was intrigued and thought I may just have stumbled across something pretty special here. Keen to discover more I played it pretty much back to back in the car for the next month. With each play it got better and better. For the most part YLT are not a band that have a great deal of immediacy - tracks and albums tend to grow on you over a number of plays. Rather than bore everyone with a track by track 0ys nalysis, if you don't mind giving something 3 or 4 plays before you begin to "get it" then give this a try. If you like music that grabs you on immediately and reveals everything on first play then best to avoid. To finish, I bought this on Vinyl as I generally prefer the vinyl experience over other formats - warmer, smoother sound and you can actually enjoy the album art (rather than squinting at a CD cover). Also with vinyl, you don't skip tracks as a rule so you begin to listen to the album as it was intended to be heard by the artist and not just a series of favourite tracks that you have chosen. Anyway, this vinyl version is superb, well produced and pressed with a sumptuous sound. If you like vinyl buy it without hesitation.
Yo La Tengo are a living legend, they deserve to be rated up there along side Sonic Youth, Bob Mould, the Fall and all those other truely great indie bands that have been fighting in the trenches churning out new, intelligent and innovative music for so many years now. If you liked the Flamming Lip's Soft Bulletin and Mercury Rev's Deserter Songs you'll love this. My favourite song is Saturday, the voice reminds me of Lou Reed in the Berlin era.
Great and truly underrated band that may never occupy the limelight but will always be treasured by music lovers with a taste for offbeat and intelligent alternative pop. Someone once compared YLT to how The Velvets sounded on their self-titled third LP (NOT the banana sleeve one!) and it's true - there's a kind of electronic folk music taking place on 'And Then Nothing Turned..'. YLT have done 'poppier' albums (I Can Hear the Heart Beating.. is well recommended) but this is probably the one I've enjoyed most over the years.
I love it when an album's sleeve reflects the music inside, and this one really does. It's a quiet album so don't expect any killer riffs or hooks, but rather think of Nick Drake, that third Velvets LP and the likes of Elliott Smith. It's an album that takes a while to seep into the mind so subtle are the melodies and textures on offer, but it happens. The songs appear to be about the more subtle aspects of relationships, the conversations couples have behind closed doors, and the simple moments and turns that light up everyday life. I bought this record when it came out in 2000 and as we approach the end of the decade, it's probably one of my highlights of the noughties. Enjoy.
(fom FRANCE - sorry for my bad english) Bought after an Amazon's advice, no regret at all(thanks Amazon). BRIAN ENO's influence is flagrant(Another green world), most on the begening of the record, but YO TA TENGO as his own life and listening this music in his bed, earphones in place, without external parasite noise, is a real pleasure.
Somehow I bought this after 'Summer Sun' and 'I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One' but this easily feels the most complete and enjoyable of the three. At times YLT have let enthusiasm and sheer inventiveness come a bit before quality but not on this album. It has a gloriously integrated feel. The dreamy voices have a melancholy end-of-summer feel, musically it shifts tone with a variety of instrumentation which is more electronic than on some other albums. 'Cherry Capstick' is indeed a crunching rock-out but it does not seem out of place as it relieves the tension and sets up the final stretch. The 17 minute closing track is YLT at their absolute best, a gorgeous strummed acoustic melody that gently ebbs into the night on a wave of restrained distortion. Buy this if you've liked anything else they have ever done, buy it if you are just curious about YLT, buy it if you liked the experimentation on Radiohead's Amnesiac/Kid A.