Historically, much of Yo La Tengo’s prettiest music flirts with simplicity, but what makes it great are the sparks of sonic ingenuity and sheer electric vigor it carries within. The title of There’s a Riot Going On, the 15th album by Yo La Tengo, seems to promise a confrontation of the sort laid down by their fellow indie rockers Superchunk, whose What a Time to Be Alive is full of galvanizing anti-Trump broadsides. But instead of a blast of supercharged guitars, the first thing you hear on Riot is a wave of undulating organ that goes on for the better part of a minute before being joined by a three-note bass loop and the sound of sleigh bells.
Like: Yo La Tengo, Pavement, Superchunk, Wilco
Play: 1, 2, 4, 10
1.You Are Here (5:43) - Languorous, EBowed guitar hums over a motorik chug of sleigh bells.
2.Shades Of Blue (2:51) - 60s-pop bounce, dreamy lullaby.
3.She May, She Might (5:22) - Great little tune in the falsetto range.
4.For You Too (4:13) - Like a classic jammer from early-2000s-era Yo La Tengo.
5.Ashes (3:32) - Lounge-y, great-sounding vibraphone.
6.Polynesia #1 (2:25) - Placid gorgeousness twilight exotica.
7.Dream Dream Away (5:47) - American Primitive strums that give way to blissed out dub.
8.Shortwave (5:43) - Sustained, warped chords, faintest of radio chatter fluctuate on and on.
9.Above The Sound (5:40) - Jumble of jazz bass and off-kilter drums, washed over shifting feedback tones.
10.Let's Do It Wrong (3:33) - Recalls the jazz improv filler of Summer Sun track.
11.What Chance Have I Got (3:05) - laid-back bass line gives way beautifully to piano, and spellbinding percussion.
12.Esportes Casual (1:25) - Elevator bossa nova.
13.Forever (4:19) - Hypnotic drones and shimmery rhythms suggest a blend of darkness and light.
14.Out Of The Pool (2:45) - Blurry, refracted funk guitars and compressed feedback squalls.
15.Here You Are (6:55) - Splicing recorded speech with hand percussion and creaking, time-stretched guitars.