Reviews

Yo La Tengo “This Stupid World” Album Review

This Stupid World

Yo La Tengo

  • Genre: Alternative
  • Date: 10 Feb, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Track(s): 9
  • ℗ 2023 Yo La Tengo under exclusive license to Matador Records

‘This Stupid World’ body of work is concentrated and crisp, the work of a band that knew it needed to get its act together. In contrast, previous Yo La Tengo albums have occasionally felt somewhat “rambling,” according to Pitchfork, but this new Yo La Tengo advocates some cohesion and quick delivery.

Album Art

Yo La Tengo &Quot;This Stupid World&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, June 14, 2024
Good Records

The boundaries and the truck on both sides of the ‘divide’ seem to hint at Yo La Tengo’s foray into new sounds and uncharted territories as the grasses may signify availability and abundance on any side they decide to move to- a sign that shows how confident the band feels about its craft.

The focus of these nine tracks is on two specialties: The majority of the songs are the steely, gentle, but unbreakable rippers that maybe no band performs better. Yo La Tengo then produces lengthy astral jams that feel like invitations to vanish at precisely the perfect moment.

Tracks And Features

The 9-tracks album opens with the welcoming arms of ” Sinatra drive Breakdown.” Yo La Tengo starts with that enthralling initial category of rock tunes before diving right into a rousing romp about the impending ruination.

Georgia Hubley and James McNew lock into a rubbery motorik pulse at the beginning of “Sinatra Drive Breakdown,” pressing against or relaxing off the accelerator as though negotiating traffic.

The rhythmic cooing of Hubley and her husband, Ira Kaplan, is accompanied by their melodic near-whispers that flutter like covers on a line.

The pleasant little tune is turned inside out and upside down by Kaplan’s scabrous guitar for seven minutes.  When he gets to the solo in the middle of the song, he lunges at a few shaky chords before giving up. He then attacks individual notes as if attempting to remember how they go together.

This fascinating little melodrama is finally resolved when he crawls back toward the song and finds the riff. Kaplan and Hubley belt out their duet, “Until we all break/Until we all break down,” as this anthem of oblivion gradually fades away.

Despite how upbeat the majority of its tracks may sound, This Stupid World is primarily driven by despair. One of their most easily captivating songs, “Fallout,” opens with Kaplan singing, “Every day, it hurts to look.” If I could only turn around, I would. But, like smog in the air, misfortune is unavoidable and pervasive.

And it’s not just outdoors; in the incredibly heartbreaking “Apology Letter,” Kaplan laments his inability to get over his ego. Unrepairable harm and unavoidable loss linger as sidesteps, like when grief catches Hubley off guard as she sings “Aselestine” on air.

Above the distorted canter of “Until It Happens,” a cautionary tale for those who occasionally wish to think that horrible things are merely other people’s issues, Kaplan pleads for a Swedish death cleaning of the mind.

Even the McNew-led, “Tonight’s Episode” mocks the faddish world of self-help gurus and arrogant counselors. Although the “guacamole” chants and yo-yo games may seem like gibberish, he’s just trying to keep things together.

With sounds tearing like a hurricane behind him, he sings, “No need to cast the …,” as though giving forth his advice -Let the darkness amaze me; I don’t need to wonder.

The album’s closer, “Miles Away,” gives the chill but resonating feel that should end this incredible listening journey. The percussion and the rhythmic effects that blend with the chords tend to signal a calling forth of alien dimensions.

Hubley calmly delivers lyrics that, though they may be locked in dismay, still carry the feeling of emotion and affection. The smooth eerie sounds accompanying the horning melody towards the end of the track play till they fade and bring the listening journey to a calm and relaxed end.

‘This Stupid World’ radiates a loveable brightness despite all the anxiety; this is the result of a band built on a triangle of trust and camaraderie since McNew joined 30 years ago.

Tracklist

NO

TITLE

TIME

1 Sinatra Drive Breakdown 7:24
2 Fallout 4:36
3 Tonight’s Episode 4:50
4 Aselestine 3:50
5 Until It Happens 3:15
6 Apology Letter 4:16
7 Brain Capers 5:35
8 This Stupid World 7:27
9 Miles Away 7:30

Album Summary

Being Yo La Tengo’s best album in at least ten years, their most consistently captivating rock songs in years, demonstrating a new triumph of indie rock’s old guard—are all reasons to mark ‘This Stupid World’ with an exalted or triumphant tagline. The relevant nature of This Stupid World only enhances the modest history of indie rock’s most unassuming institution. Its melodies convey both the want to keep waking up and moving forward and the gloom that so many of us experience every day when we are awake.

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