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Yo La Tengo – There’s A Riot Going On (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Yo La Tengo – There’s A Riot Going On (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:03:23 minutes | 1,2 GB | Genre: Indie Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: 7Digital | Front Cover | © Matador

“There’s a Riot Going On” is the fifteenth full-length album by the American Indie-Rock band Yo La Tengo. While there’s a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it’s like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking, ghostly flamingos calling “shoo-bop shoo-bop.” Even if your mind is not unclouded – shaken, misdirected, out of words and out of time – you can still float, ride the waves of an ocean deeper than your worries and above the sound. For Yo La Tengo this is a slow-motion action painting and Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no outside engineer (John McEntire later did the mix). They did not rehearse or jam together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You’d never guess this, since the layers are finessed with such a liquid brush. You’d imagine most of the songs had sprung forth whole, since they will enter your head that way. Within two listens you will be powerless to resist the magnetic draw of ‘Shades of Blue’, will involuntarily hear ‘She May, She Might’ on your internal jukebox first thing in the morning and ‘Let’s Do It Wrong’ late at night. While there’s a riot going on you will feel capable of bobbing through like a cork.

It’s a cotton revolution for Yo La Tengo. After Stuff Like That There (2015), in which they smoothly revisited tracks of their own or from others, this fifteenth album feels much more sedated. Led since 1986 by the couple Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, the band are reunited here in a trio with bassist James McNew, and goes into a quiet and peaceful hibernation. The boiled down instrumentation navigates here and there on Shoegazian vapours (What Chance Have I Got, Dream Dream Away), towards tender folk strings (She May, She Might) and bossa backwashes (Esportes Casual), even sleeping under the Tropics (Polynesia #1). Maracas, warm and slow percussions, low and soft voices, bass in slow motion, and whispering guitars draw up a meditative opus, closer to Alice Coltrane than the mad and poisonous funk of Sly & The Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Going On (1971).  – Charlotte Saintoin

The chorus that Georgia Hubley sings softly on the second track of New Jersey’s 15th studio album serves almost as a mission statement for the trio: “Whenever I see you, there are shades of blue.” Yo La Tengo are, as so often, blue: but theirs is not the midnight blue of despair, but the pale blue of melancholy, and sometimes the sharp, unending blue of a cloudless sky. The song exemplifies the group in other ways: its jaunty rhythm is taken straight from 60s beat pop, befitting their record collector reputation, but recast into something somnambulant and soothing all their own. There are flickers of the old fire on There’s a Riot Going on (which bears no similarity to Sly and the Family Stone, to the surprise of precisely no one). On For You Too, James McNew’s bass puts all four to the floor, with the fuzz pedal turned on, but Ira Kaplan refuses to rise to the bait, picking arpeggios around the basslines instead of wigging out, murmuring his vocal – but for the most part Yo La Tengo are gently blowing on embers rather than poking the logs. After the relative brevity of 2013’s Fade, There’s a Riot Going on heads back beyond the hour-mark, which does mean some longueurs: the jazzy, percussion-led Above the Sound meanders around for nearly six minutes unsuccessfully trying to locate a point. But then will come something as glorious as Forever: doo-wop-inspired backing vocals, a double bass, and Kaplan crooning over shapeshifting percussion: it’s gorgeous and elusive, the perfect expression of Yo La Tengo’s blending of ambience and rock classicism.

01 – You Are Here
02 – Shades of Blue
03 – She May, She Might
04 – For You Too
05 – Ashes
06 – Polynesia #1
07 – Dream Dream Away
08 – Shortwave
09 – Above the Sound
10 – Let’s Do It Wrong
11 – What Chance Have I Got
12 – Esportes Casual
13 – Forever
14 – Out of the Pool
15 – Here You Are

Produced by Yo La Tengo.

Ira Kaplan – lead vocals, guitar, keyboard
James McNew – bass, backing vocals, guitar
Georgia Hubley – drums, percussion, backing vocals, guitar, keyboard, drum machine


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