Posted in Album Reviews

Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World (2023)

The ongoing joke with Yo La Tengo is that bassist James McNew is still the new guy, 30 years later.  It’s a funny joke.  Here, he handles the recording of the new This Stupid World album and takes over the vocals while delivering an excellent bass groove on “Tonight’s Episode”. First single “Fallout” delivers an excellent YLT performance – a fuzzy pop song where Ira Kaplan sings “I want to fall out of time”.  The other Kaplan highlight is on the slower “Apology Letter”.  A soothing repeating guitar line lays the bed while he delivers the deadpan lyrics – “And then I got mad because you got mad/Another one of my delightful quirks”.

Possibly on the other end of that apology is wife Georgia Hubley who sings the somber acoustic track “Aselestine”.  Waves of noise gather on the title track, where the vocals are buried at sea before the electronic beat of “Miles Away” where Hubley returns to vocals on the icy atmospheric closer.  “Burdens rise/Avert your eyes/The pain creeps in anyhow”.  On their 17th album, the trio of Yo La Tengo deliver a late period classic that keeps their distinct sound while adding rivers of other sounds.



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