Yo La Tengo’s new album loses steam

  • By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
  • Thursday, September 3, 2009 5:16pm
  • Life

Yo La Tengo celebrates its 25th anniversary with the release of a new album, “Popular Songs,” on Tuesday.

TRIVIA: The New Jersey group also released a covers album in March under an unprintable pseudonym.

STANDOUTS: Bristly guitar and the clean sound of an organ make an ideal pair on the jaunty “Nothing to Hide.”

FANS DIG: Frayed cardigans.

ANDY SAYS: Yo La Tengo’s latest feels like a couple of albums in one. Unfortunately, it’s not a couple of good albums. “Popular Songs” starts strong with the low-hearted track “Here to Fall,” and then ably shifts gears on lighter numbers: the swagger of “Periodically Double or Triple” and the precious “If It’s True.” But the album closes with a trio of aimless songs that run a combined 37 minutes. Those are a slog.

GRADE: B-minus

Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455, arathbun@heraldnet.com.

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