Yo La Tengo I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

Get over it, Yo La Tengo fans! Your band is growing up and if they don’t want to manipulate every last note into a feedback-drenched orgy of guitar solos and drums, tough shit. Yet, still you protest. Well, stop whining as from the opener, "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind,” the guitars and drums are drenched in feedback and, grudgingly, it does feel good to have them back. But it seems to feel that this isn’t what the band wants. Compare that song to the utter care and stunning beauty of "I Feel like Going Home,” where Georgia Hubley pines over a brittle piano and strings and the heart melts perfectly. This seems right. This seems like Yo La Tengo. Even better is when they combine the two poles for perfection like the epic closer, "The Story of Yo La Tango.” It pines with the subtlety of the last albums, yet gives jolts of yore. Though, it seems too little, too late as this internal argument has made sure this forcefully-titled album never fully takes full thematic flight. Fans should lap this up, but they should also feel a bit dirty. I’ll say it again: your band has changed. Take your half-ass songs like "The Room Got Heavy” and get over it! (Matador)