CD Summer Sun (CD 1053489),
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Yo La Tengo
1. Beach Party Tonight
2. Little Eyes
3. Nothing But You and Me
4. Season of the Shark
5. Today Is the Day
6. Tiny Birds
7. How to Make a Baby Elephant Float
8. Georgia Vs. Yo la Tengo
9. Don't Have to Be So Sad
10. Winter A-Go-Go
11. Moonrock Mambo
12. Let's Be Still
13. Take Care
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 548
Yo La Tengo: Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, James McNew.
Additional personnel includes: Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen (flute, alto & tenor saxophones); Roy Campbell, Jr. (trumpet); William Parker (upright bass).
Recorded at Alex The Great Studios, Nashville, Tennessee.
Personnel: Katie Gentile (violin); Tim Harris (cello); Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen (flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone).
Recording information: Nashville, TN.
Photographer: Phil Morrison.
Building on the lush, complex sound established on I CAN HEAR THE HEART BEATING AS ONE and continued on 2000's AND THEN NOTHING TURNED ITSELF INSIDE-OUT, Hoboken's favorite trio wades in still deeper on 2003's SUMMER SUN. With vocalist/guitarist Ira Kaplan affecting a whispered croon and his drummer wife Georgia Hubley wielding brushes, this outing goes from the vibraphone jauntiness of "Moonrock Mambo" to the swirling, 10-minute "Let's Be Still" featuring contributions from downtown jazzbos William Parker and Roy Campbell Jr. Like a musical narcotic, songs like "How to Make a Baby Elephant Float" and "Tiny Birds" bob along in a current of humming keyboards and the underpinning of James McNew's understated bass playing. Breaking up this gentle excursion through the ether are "Georgia Vs. Yo La Tengo," a chugging number with watery-sounding effects and a repetitive piano run threaded throughout, and the samba-like "Winter A-Go-Go," which sounds like the Zombies slow-dancing with Buffalo Springfield. Succumbing to their penchant for beautifully executed offbeat covers, Yo La Tengo dips into the Big Star canon for an interpretation of "Take Care" that finds Hubley making like Hope Sandoval over a bed of dream-poppy acoustic guitar and pedal steel.
Rolling Stone (5/15/03, p.134) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...The Hoboken, New Jersey trio disguises its guitars, minimizes its drums and makes plink-plunk sounds with its keyboards to conjure mystery, uncertainty and precious private moments..."
Spin (7/03, p.109) - "...The moments when contemplation yields to compulsion still carry a charge..." - Grade: B
Entertainment Weekly (4/11/03, p.78) - "...Equal parts Alex Chilton, Gilberto Gil, and early YLT....The seasonal orb of the title is not the fireball of a scorching August noon but the warm disc of a lazy June evening..." - Rating: B
Uncut (5/03, p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Everything happens gently and absorbingly on SUMMER SUN....From the edge of the sea, back to the fringes of sleep, SUMMER SUN is uncommonly lovely..."
The Wire (5/03, p.73) - "...An absorbing album....The group continue to produce music that's full of gesture and emotional intensity..."
CMJ (12/29/03, p.7) - Ranked #9 in CMJ's "Top 10 of 2003"
CMJ (04/14/03, p.8) - "...A mellow world of whispered guitar leads, hushed keyboards and the occasional funky sidestep..."
Mojo (Publisher) (4/03, pp.97-8) - 4 stars out of 5 - "A set of busy beautiful whispers, 62 minutes of exquisite suspended animation....Once you get inside this twilight, you'll hear an endless summer..."
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Matador (record label) OLE 5482
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