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Summer Sun

Yo La TengoAudio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $12.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2003 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2003 $12.98  
Vinyl, Original recording, 2003 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beach Party Tonight 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Little Eyes 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Nothing But You and Me 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Season of the Shark 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Today Is the Day 5:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Tiny Birds 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. How to Make a Baby Elephant Float 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Georgia Vs. Yo La Tengo 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Don't Have to Be So Sad 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Winter A-Go-Go 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Moonrock Mambo 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Let's Be Still10:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Take Care 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Fade is the most direct, personal and cohesive album of Yo La Tengo's career. Recorded with John McEntire at Soma Studios in Chicago, it recalls the sonic innovation and lush cohesion of career high points like 1997‘s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One and 2000’s …And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. The album is a tapestry of fine melody and elegant noise, ... Read more in Amazon's Yo La Tengo Store

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Summer Sun + And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out + I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B00008GEKS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,872 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Any album with Summer Sun as its title and "Beach Party Tonight" as the opening track has to be the soundtrack of tanned flesh, cold beer, and killer waves, right? Not if it’s the product of three New Jersey bohos who know, from personal experience or their record collections, that summer is also the place to find surfers afraid of the water and sun-poisoned girls afraid of going home alone, again. Although not quite as cohesive or instantly captivating as the band’s 2000 breakthrough, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, Summer Sun is crafted from a similar hushed and hypnotic mold. Most of the 13 songs are built on a simple foundation of lo-fi guitar, bass, and brushed drums, then finished off with swirling horns, insistent piano figures, or organ. Especially good are the Pet Sounds-like pocket symphony "Tiny Birds," the beat-groove-powered "Moonrock Mambo," and the album-closing cover of Big Star’s "Take Care." This last song is re-imagined as a country lament with pleading pedal-steel guitar and singer Georgia Hubley sounding like Nico fronting a lounge band on the boardwalk of a beach town headed toward post-Labor Day oblivion. Ah, summer. --Keith Moerer

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nothing formulatic about it September 17, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I gotta confess that it doesn't surprise me people have decided this is The Decline of Yo La Tengo since it rolls back the guitars and the lyrics are more direct. I saw the same exact thing happen with the last two R.E.M. albums. The common logic seems to be that neither band is being true to its original eclectic vision (not that R.E.M. was ever half as eclectic as YLT, wonderful as both bands may be).
My answer is -- what vision? If we're going to hurl these accusations, what is it exactly that we're expecting? If "Let's Be Still" and "Today is the Day" and "Nothing But You and Me" are being seen as steps backward, and a return to feedback-laden pop bliss wouldn't be, then I'd better just give up on understanding popular music right now.
By the way, this album IS pop bliss, start to finish. I loved the band's older records too, every one of 'em, although May I Sing with Me is my least favorite by quite a margin, but if you want to hear that stuff, it's not like they're confiscating your copies. I wouldn't necessarily recommend "Summer Sun" as a first purchase - go with "Fakebook," "I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One," or their masterpiece IMO, "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out" - but it does show off the fact that intricate, warm pop music didn't die with the Beach Boys.
In a sense, of course, whether or not you may like this could have something to do with your usual taste in music. It really does lack any rock & roll intensity, making it unique in that regard aside from "Fakebook," and the reason "May I Sing with Me" didn't appeal to me was the fact that it was basically one raveup after another. So if you don't run off in terror at the notion of quiet music, "Summer Sun" may well be the best album since... well, the last Yo La Tengo record.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Yo La Tengo were forced to rush the sequencing and mixing of this record in order to make a production deadline. Although the rush job shows, the strengths of Summer Sun's songs work hard to overcome what's missing otherwise.
This is a band that would have a hard time making a bad album. Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew have always made music with an intuitive sense that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One summed up the band's approach perfectly.
The band's instrumental score to the nature films by Jean Painleve, collected on last year's The Sounds of the Sounds of Science filled the gap between 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out and this new album. And Then Nothing... was mellow compared to prior outings, yet anything but easy-going, with the calmness of the songs crossed with emotionally frank lyrics about the ups and downs of marriage, personal anxieties and depression. The less-is-more approach looms large in Yo La Tengo's legend. Referencing an old KISS t-shirt that reads "If it's too loud, you're too old," Kaplan once chastised a raucous, inattentive audience: "If it's too quiet, you're too young."
YLT's best music is often in its longer numbers, in which the band takes time to stretch out and let simple sounds establish great power. "Let's Be Still" is Summer Sun's best track, and its longest, at over ten minutes. The song is based on a beautiful groove built from a piano sample and Hubley's magnificently understated drumming. A cover of Big Star's "Take Care" -- a melancholy Alex Chilton ballad that YLT has played live for years -- rounds out the album.
Summer Sun doesn't have the collective impact of its predecessors, a problem typically attributable to song selection, sequencing and mixing. The songs here are good, but even when the heart beats as one, it's a bit too faint to hear.
Ric Dube Review
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hushed whisper of a record. April 10, 2003
Format:Audio CD
(three and a half stars, rounded up because Yo La Tengo deserve every benefit of the doubt.)

Yo La Tengo are back with their proper follow-up to their 2000 masterpiece "And then nothing turned itself inside-out," and I'll warn you now: if that one was too soft for you, don't dare waste your money on Summer Sun.

Instead of returning to the eclectic sound of their earlier records, the Hoboken trio have carved another record of tender subtly and grace. The problem here is that the sweetness is not anchored by anything darker and more brooding, which is what made "And then Nothing..." succeed so completely.

This record sacrifices the cerebral to maintain a constant mood, and the result, though utterly grogeous in moments, does not better Yo La Tengo's previous ground. Both "And then nothing..." and 1997's brilliant "I can feel the heart beating as one" NEVER had washover moments. Though rarely keeping a completely consistant mood, I would argue that every single song on those records was a winner.

This is simply not true of "Summer Sun"- the meandering 10 minute+ "Let's be Still" has yet to keep my attention, and I am a patient music listener. I love Ira, but "Nothing but you and Me" has to be one of his worst vocal performances in recent history- it feels like re-hashed, b-side "And then nothing" material, as he pleads to try again at a failed relationship. "Don't have to be so sad," as well, is a bit too sparse to not become simple background noise, if lovely background noise.

And NO rock at all?? I understand evolution for bands, but "Cherry Chapstick" was GLORIOUS drone, and that was only a few years ago! We have absolutely nothing of remotely upbeat nature here. That gets me down, I hate to say.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mellow atmospheric soundscape
I love this album. I got it when I was painting my kitchen and was seeped in paint fumes. Listened to it over and over again. It created a whole new soundscape in my head. Read more
Published on December 27, 2008 by G. Klein
2.0 out of 5 stars Cooled off.
"Summer Sun" was the second album by Yo La Tengo finding them exploring a much more cooled off direction, trading the noise and feedback that decorated their previous records for... Read more
Published on October 15, 2008 by Michael Stack
3.0 out of 5 stars Spacey, diverse, mellow alt-rock
3 1/2 stars

Focused, even in it's apparent lo-fi laziness of summer sloth, there are plenty of beautiful, soft ideas flourishing about, although many might not have been... Read more
Published on June 3, 2006 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album of 2003
Say you had to discover what Yo La Tengo's Summer Sun LP is all about on the basis of three songs only. Then, take the opening ambient hymn (or prayer? Read more
Published on October 12, 2005 by Dan Mohr
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - A Summer Album You can kill Yourself To
It's the album I've spent my whole life waiting for - a summer soundtrack the O.C. wouldn't touch with a barge pole (that's a large stick for the nautically uninitiated) and that... Read more
Published on May 8, 2005 by jon hay
4.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre?
I really didn't understand the scathing reviews this album got. It's no I Can Hear The Heart..., Painful, or And Then Nothing Turned Itself..., but it's still a strong record. Read more
Published on December 19, 2004 by Paul H.
3.0 out of 5 stars solid, but not their best
"Summer Sun" seems to the ears of this long-term Yo La Tengo listener to be a distillation of the mellower side of the past two albums; "I Can Hear the Heart" and "... Read more
Published on October 24, 2004 by Matthew D. White
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing happens...
What if you assembled a band and started to record them, but nothing happened. They played and played, but nothing musical happened. It just went on and on and on. Read more
Published on September 20, 2004 by Garry Grasinski
2.0 out of 5 stars Uninspired
This CD is bland and unispired for the most part. It seems as though YLT has traded in the pop/distortion style of Electr-O-Pura and I Can Hear The Heart... Read more
Published on June 30, 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Where to go from here
How you react to this album will depend on the direction you want Yo La Tengo to go. In previous albums (I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside... Read more
Published on May 18, 2004 by Jo Conley
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