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I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One

Artist: Yo La Tengo
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: April 1997

Review by LarryG
3 stars out of 4

Guitar player Ira Kaplan and his wife drummer Georgia Hubley have always been able to make a great pop song but have often seemed more interested in experimentation and guitar noise. On I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, Yo La Tengo were able to strike an irresistable balance. Most of the songs are likeable pop or rock but they retain an edge. A few are exercises in dissonance but most are extremely accessible. Sugarcube harnesses Kaplan's knowledge of musical history and guitars to winningly mix hard rock and girl group sound. Yo La Tengo's version of the Beach Boys' Little Honda is great straight ahead rock. Kaplan shows his skills as a songwriter. Autumn Sweater is a brilliant love song. The music slowly builds as Kaplan sings of being speechlessly enamored by his simple things about his love. Hubley sings a couple of unadorned songs which make a nice contrast to the more layered songs of much of the record. Her guileless, girlish vocals are charmingly unaffected on a cover of My Little Corner of the World and the heartbreaking Shadows, seemingly speaking for the contented relative obscurity she and the band hold. Yo La Tengo seems comfortable having a full time bass player. He even does a solid job of vocals on the enjoyable Stockholm Syndrome. Yo La Tengo are interesting, talented musicians and songwriters who can rock. Unlike the recent work of the similarly inclined Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo has been able to enjoy themselves without being self indulgent, sharing their love for music with their fans.

Here's what others reviewers have to say:

"...Yo La Tengo maintain a tension between aural deconstruction and sharp songwriting. The album has its share of perfect pop songs .... HEART proves that Yo La Tengo can master nearly any pop style..." 4 Stars (out of 5) Rolling Stone 5/1/97, pp.50-52

"...this is a band that not only delves into their vast record collection but figures out what makes their faves tick; and their tickers beat as one..." 9 (out of 10) Spin 6/97, pp.118-119



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