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"There's A Riot Going On" by Yo La Tengo

Matador Records
"There's A Riot Going On" is the 15th full-length album from New Jersey trio Yo La Tengo.
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ALBUM REVIEW: There’s A Riot Going On by Yo La Tengo (Matador Records) 2018

With a title copped from a 1971 psychedelic soul-n-funk album by Sly and the Family Stone, the latest full-fledged record (15 songs in all) from Hoboken, N.J.-based trio Yo La Tengo is not a particularly riotous affair, but it is a family affair (pun intended) in that it is clearly a more intimate and reflective record from a band that has had its ups and downs over the years.

So, we have Ira Kaplan, James McNew and Georgia Hubley collaborating on subtle instrumental openers like “You Are Here” or gauzy, dream pop pieces like “She May, She Might” and strummy songs like “For You Too.”

Ambient tracks like “Polynesia #1 are more the rule than the exception on this album. It all has an autumnal, bittersweet quality, while a song like “Above the Sound” where McNew’s upright bass takes a jazzy lead while the final song, “Here You Are” reminds us of the band quality, where they seem to be recording live in the studio facing each other. 

Their previous two studio recordings, Stuff Like That There (2015) and Fade (2013), for me, were more accessible albums. There’s A Riot Going On is a little more sublime.


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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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