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Popular Songs


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Audio CD, September 8, 2009
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Popular Songs + I Am Not Afraid of You & I Will Beat Your Ass + And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 8, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B002ERCI5C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,407 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Here To Fall
2. Avalon Or Someone Very Similar
3. By Two s
4. Nothing To Hide
5. Periodically Double Or Triple
6. If It s True
7. I m On My Way
8. When It s Dark
9. All Your Secrets
10. More Stars Than There Are In Heaven
11. The Fireside
12. And The Glitter Is Gone

Editorial Reviews

This sprawling, ambitious album is YO LA TENGO's 16th, and marks their 25th anniversary. It is also a new culmination for a career that has been swinging upwards again since 2006's I Am Not Afraid Of You. A new generation of fans is discovering one of the most influential and intriguing bands in late-20th and early 21st-century rock'n'roll.This is the definitive YO LA TENGO album and Matador's #1 priority this fall.

Customer Reviews

By the time the album is over you're already replaying it.
Marblehead Johnson
Wow, its hard to believe that Yo La Tengo have made yet another really good album.
Anaximander
This is, by far, the best new LP I've heard by ANYONE in a while.
David N. Dirickson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Anaximander on September 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Wow, its hard to believe that Yo La Tengo have made yet another really good album. For Yo La Tengo fans, this is an essential purchase. Like "I'm Not Afraid of You....," this album contains a wide range of styles, from droning guitar workouts (the fifteen minute "And the Glitter is Gone") to Motown lite("If its True"), and, of course, the more mellow songs with hushed vocals. And after 20 years, they are still experimenting. Opener, "Here to Fall" sounds like nothing else in their catalog, some sort of space age soul-prog - and it actually works. Its really amazing that YLT have stayed so good for so long.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Marblehead Johnson VINE VOICE on September 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
While people go on and on about the brilliance and creativity of bands like the Flaming Lips, Yo La Tengo, somewhat quietly, keep pumping out incredible music. Unlike Flaming Lips, however, Yo La Tengo deliver their music humbly, and without pretentious arrogance about what influences them. They don't talk, they just rock.
This new record is clearly inspired by 60's soul music with the groovy bass-lines and slightly cheesy orchestral maneuvers. What makes these guys so great, though, is their ability to effortlessly change gears from soul, to funk, to rock, to noise, to ballads, to whatever strikes their fancy. The cover is rather appropriate as the sounds remind you of an awesome mix tape someone with a great record collection just made.
As always, they start the record out with a bunch of three minute rock, pop, and funk jams before going a bit classic-progressive on us with a few extended workouts that last more than 10 minutes. By the time the album is over you're already replaying it. This album has a handful of incredibly catchy tunes as is the staple of most of the Yo La Tengo catalog.
If you're already a fan of Yo La Tengo you're going to be thrilled with this release. If you are uninitiated to the sounds of this great band, take the plunge. You will not be disappointed in the least!
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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Noise Addict on September 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to YLT since 1995. Most of their albums fall into one of two categories: cohesive or eclectic.

Their great "cohesive" albums are Painful and Electr-o-pura. Fakebook and May I Sing With Me also deserve high honors. Many would add And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out to this category--for me, it's just medium strength--the first half is great while the second half loses focus. Summer Sun is the somewhat weaker entry in their cohesive collection.

Their great "eclectic" album is undoubtedly I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One while I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your [...] is too scatter shot. Their collection of b-sides and outtakes, Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo, gets more love from me than I Am Not Afraid of You...

Which leads us to Popular Songs, which is a little from column A, a little from column B. Tracks 2-9 is a nice little cohesive run that any YLT fan would enjoy. The album is book-ended by more experimental tracks--"Here to Fall" features a string arrangement while the final three are variations on drone and noise. "More Stars Than There Are In Heaven" doesn't quite sound like anything they've done before. "The Fireside" fits in the "Green Arrow" and "Night Falls on Hoboken" genre. "And the Glitter is Gone" is familiar waves of Ira's guitar noise.

Popular Songs is probably their best album since And Then Nothing...While most of the bands strengths are represented here, the neat division between cohesive and eclectic can make it a lopsided listening experience.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CAM Book Reviews on November 3, 2009
Format: Audio CD
What a ride, such a admixture of unique sound approaches. If you want something that facinates and stimulates minor thrills in your soul, this collection is something extraordinary especially for a non-fan- "If it's True" brings it all together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jose Artiles-Gil on September 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I confess that I feel "ashamed" at the moment of writing this review, because I cannot believe that this band has been around for 25 years, and it is now -actually since last April, when I bouhgt "I Am Not Afraid of You & I Will Beat Your Ass", and was literally stunned by it- that I have discovered them. Therefore, I am a latecomer. I was very much impressed by their instrumental dexterity as well as their creative power making songs that rock and jam at the same time, fueled by intelligent improvisations and good textural and atmospheric makeup. Definitely a very original American band, rooted at best in the tradition forged by groups like Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Deads and the Allman Brothers Band. Why calling "popular" to these songs? The only reason I can fathom is that they offer it to the "Alternative People", that part of the population that while not intending to be or feel "elitist", open their hearts to good creative expressions in any art, music, painting, literature, cinema, etc. They definitely will be from now on a priority in my listening agenda. I hope that other latecomers do the same.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Douglasson! on February 10, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a nice starter album for Yo La Tengo listeners. It's a nice follow up to earlier albums.
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Format: Audio CD
Jamming on Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy" on "All Your Secrets" shows Yo La Tengo at their sloppiest and the French pop vibe of "If It's True" over-flexing their witty versatility. The albums open with the heady and smokey"Here To Fall" with some brilliant lyrics: "I know you're worried. I'm worried too. But if you're ready. I'm here to fall with you". While the 2/3rd's of the record is uneven the last three tracks are stunning. A post-shoegaze anthem "More Stars Than There Are In Heaven" and (perhaps uncoincidently) the U2/Eno's The Unforgettable Fire-era ambient explorations on "The Fireside" reveals and achingly lovely side of Yo La Tengo. The record closes with "The Glitter Is Gone", a My Bloody Valentine-ish fuzzy chain saw guitars jam and it seems to equalize and distill albums overall uneveness. If it was a mediocre album, I wouldn't bother complaining as much. Overall, it may not be their best album, but it's certainly of their most compelling albums since 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out.
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