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I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One

4.7 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 22, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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We always suspected they had it in them, but who knew Yo La Tengo would finally craft a record as wholeheartedly terrific as this? Fourteen years into their career as indie rock's low-key mainstays, the Hoboken, New Jersey, trio have arrived--and it's about time. It's as though simply by sticking around long enough and doing the same thing over and over while constantly refining and focusing Yo La have evolved from scattered, record-collecting eccentrics into the true classicists of '90s indie rock. Blending elements of what has illuminated Sonic Youth, Stereolab, Pavement, and My Bloody Valentine, they've long had a clear voice but never sounded so comfortable using it. Willfully eclectic husband-and-wife multi-instrumentalists Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley--with third member James McNew never sounding more permanent--have previously tended to alternate between their instincts to be a pop rock band and to serve as artsy noisemakers. On I Can Hear..., the group doesn't have to choose between songs and sounds. There's noise leaking out everywhere, but it's always under control. Even the most layered soundscapes--songs like "Autumn Sweater," "Sugarcube," or "Moby Octopad"--have unforgettable melodies, with fragile harmonies to boot. "We're an American Band" (not a Grand Funk cover) could be Simon and Garfunkel singing along to the Jesus and Mary Chain. And on tracks like "Shadows" or "My Little Corner of the World," where the melody consumes everything else, deceptively simple backdrops provide a less-is-more atmosphere. Just in time for indie rock to catch up with Yo La Tengo, Yo La Tengo has caught up with itself. --Roni Sarig
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 22, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: April 22, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B0000036X3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,468 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
How much do I love this record, well let me count the ways:

1. I love it because it moves me with its beauty and magnificence. Each song here is wonderful. Each has its own mood, its own vibe, and each goes in a slightly different direction than all the others. For example, Moby Octopad, a song about being "locked in a kiss" with the one you love and thus the ability you both have to kind of shut the world out, has a sustained sort of bass driven funk groove. The sound is blissfull, which perfectly fits the song's subject matter; the song that follows, Sugarcube, is also a love song, in the sense that it is about pledging one's all to one's loved one, about being what they want you to be, and it is delivered with such power as a melodic guitar song, yet with a great warmth to it. Some songs here are soft and subtle; others, like Spec Bebop is a high energy instrumental jam. And some, like Autumn Sweater (a Yo La Tengo classic), Deeper Into Movies, and The Lie and How We Told It are simply blissfully gorgeous. Ultimately, though, each song comes together with each other song here and blend together forming an intact and complete whole.

2. I love it because it holds true to its ideals. Yo La Tengo have never sold out, nor have they ever come close to doing so. They simply seek to create, each time anew. Here they have, and in a multitude of ways.
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By A Customer on January 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"I Can Hear the Heart" is by far the best Yo La Tengo release yet, and also their most eclectic. The band certainly know how to play the field, and regardless of what they try, it always comes up Yo La Tengo. Witness the track "Deeper Into Movies." The melody and chords are 100% pure Yo La Tengo, yet the execution is 100% pure My Bloody Valentine, and the group knows it. Yet it really works, on its own terms. Other styles covered are straight-ahead ballads ("Shadows"), spacey disco ("Spec Bebop"), pure rave-up rock and roll ("Little Honda," great cover), and Neil Young folksy-ness ("Stockholm Syndrome"). Although the description makes it sound like this would be a pretty incoherent collection, the best qualities of Yo La Tengo (good singing/harmonies, great guitar playing) give unity to all the varied tracks. There's a song for everyone on this album. At times nostalgic, other times looking far into the future, this is an album for the ages that will be looked back upon as a classic.
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Format: Audio CD
From the opening notes of the first song, Yo La Tengo lures you into their state of mind - love and beauty and excitement and wonder and reflection. This album has it all, from the reverb drenched, peaceful yet moody Return to Hot Chicken, to Moby Octopad, a well crafted yo la rocker with suprise piano, to the fuzzy distortion blissful pop rocker with hyped up drums and cymbal crashes up the wazzoo Sugarcube, to the dark and haunting yet beautifully reflective Damage, and through the ever-building rave up wash of sonic ecstasy that is Deeper into movies, this CD is simply incomparable. Folk tunes, lounge music, sonic-youth inspired feedback washes, catchy yet intelligent love songs with kickin' beats, fuzzed out beach boys covers with distorted one-note guitar solos, and cricket riddled background ambience are seamlessly tied together with amazing craftsmanship and dedication and love. Amazing love songs are sung between married members of the band, and it's clear that these 3 (only 3!) people love what they do. The 13 minute "monster", and the "reward" that follows and the folky My Little Corner of the World are just an example of how much diversity these folks have got. I discovered this album in college with a little help from my buddy Logan, and have NEVER tired of it. Granted I'm not the best CD handler in the world, but i've bought four copies of this album for myself. Birthday gifts for people whose musical tastes i'm unsure of? This album right here. I've met only one person that let me play it for them who didn't absolutely fall in love with this album, and my brother is a big fan of creed and puddle of staind mudvayne limp bizkorn sound alikes with no originality. I mean, to each his own, but everyone should hear this album in it's entirety at least once.Read more ›
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By A Customer on July 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album because of Spin magazine's rave review a few years back. I popped it in the car CD player and was amazed; I almost swerved off the road. The first tune, "Return to Hot Chicken" is an instrumental that makes me want to drift into the sky. "Autumn Sweater" is the kind of song I want to be writing when I'm old. I actually don't like "Little Honda" that much, but "Sugarcube", "Moby Octopad", and "Center of Gravity" more than make up for it. After "Little Honda", the disc gets real mellow, with an instrumental featuring crickets and a few short, whispered folky tunes. But the highlight of the disc for me is the 4th song, "Damage". Ira sounds so fragile in the verses, and when he and Georgia are harmonizing "ooh-wooh-ooh" in the chorus, my skin melts everytime. A Warning, however: don't buy this record expecting noisy early-Sonic Youth style songs; there is plenty of noise, but mellow noise. The album, on the whole, is pretty mellow. But the music is so beautiful, I can't imagine living without it.
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