Yo La Tengo Stuff Like That There Matador Records
It’s not easy to separate a band from their legacy at the best of times. Yo La Tengo’s latest album is a soul-seeking, half new, half used collection which both reveals and plays on their transition from fuzzy, alternative band-du-jour to middle-aged, reticent rockers. 2013’s Fade was easily the band’s most laid back, most mature and probably most lap steel-laden release to date. Stuff Like That There takes things up a gear.
The album features a ramshackle assembly of covers, reworks of pre-grown up YLT songs and original material. All tracks are slide guitar and double bass led with drums tapping and tittering, jazz-like, in the background. It’s not classic Yo La Tengo but it has its moments. Their loungey rework of their own track Deeper Into Movies is a tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating affair that works a heck of a lot better than the verging-on-tacky job they do of The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love.
Stuff Like That There is a mix of heady ideas, a nod to Yo La Tengo’s 30-year evolution and a careful deconstruction of their influences and first-loves. The new tracks Rickety and Awhileaway could sit sweetly in the background of a Sunday afternoon but they’re hardly earth shattering. Speaking as a fan of the band, it’s an intriguing document, speaking as a fan of music I’d urge you to take the time to discover YLT’s back catalogue instead. You won’t be disappointed – and you won’t find any uncomfortable covers of 80s pop hits either.