They say 'variety is the spice of life' and this offering from Yo La Tengo may just prove this old saying right. 16 tracks that take on a number of styles and sounds but remain distinct and ear pleasing. Heartbreakingly beautiful and gentle on slower tracks like 'Damage' and 'Shadow', the songs continue to sound fragile even when the guitars get turned up (slightly!). Undoubtedly the gentler side of Yo La Tengo is their strong point, the soft spoken male and female vocals compliment the delicate melodies to fully, creating mini masterpieces again and again. Musically, the songs are simple and impeccably controlled blending happy and sad vibes to great effect. There is a haunting atmosphere on tracks like 'Damage' with its ghostly backing vocals and reverb guitars. Similarly instrumental 'Green Arrow' with it's cricket chirping background and beautiful guitar parts takes on an eerie sound that is enough to paint all sorts of wonderful images in your head. All in all, the album is largely faultless; never dull, always interesting, and frequently beautiful. A real treat of a record with some excellent melodies and hooks to keep you coming back time and time again for more.
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