Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs...First Impressions

So, I bought the new album, Popular Songs, last night on my way home from work. I'm listening to it for the first time right now and here are my intial first impressions:

- It's extremely quiet and subdued, much more than I expected
- It's a late evening/night album for sure
- They have continued their evolution, but it isn't as advanced as their last album in terms of variety and range of styles
- Ira and Georgia's vocals seem more...distant...? I dunno, they just sound a bit different on this album
- It slips into the background very easily
- It's probably going to be a grower (which is good if that's how it turns out)
- They still know how to close out an album better than anyone else around today

All in all, intially I'm a little disappointed, mainly because they set the bar high with I Am Not Afraid of You..., but it's a lot better than Sonic Youth's new output, that's for sure, just for sake of comparison. For as long as YLT has been around, they amaze me with how they continue to put out relevent albums and continue to evolve their sound in extremely interesting ways.


Ok, after another listen tonight, it's definitely opened up to my ears. There's more poppiness to it than I originally thought, and the subtleties are coming out more and more. I'm pretty sure it's going to get better with each listen. I like the added orchestration and various sounds they've encorporated. So far I'd say it's one of the best albums of the year.

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