Yo La Tengo Popular Songs

Yo La Tengo Popular Songs

Muso favourite Yo La Tengo's umpteenth disc, Popular Songs, brims with affable, clean-cut tracks, especially the Clientele-evoking "All Your Secrets" and the Belle and Sebastian-nodding twee-per "Avalon or Someone Very Similar." However, its bookends, including an underwater space-out and a trio of marathon offerings, make it deceptively epic. Leadoff "Here to Fall" is a red herring cut that trips-out admirably and augurs a hippie revival that never comes. Instead, the meat of the album flirts with various genres du jour, cruising through neo-'60s ("If it's True") and new gaze (the Pains of Being Pure at Heart-esque "Nothing to Hide"). The third act has larger ambitions though, beginning with cinematic grower "More Stars Than There Are in Heaven" and closing with massive distorted-guitar opus "And the Glitter is Gone." Boisterous and machismo flaunting, the latter clocks in at more than 15 minutes and makes for a stirring finale, thanks to the spin-cycle guitars. (Matador)