The latest in Matador Records' Revisionist History reissue series, Electr-o-pura's been given the deluxe double LP treatment with a slick new remaster.
In a sprawling catalogue spread over the past 30 odd years, it's hard to know where to start with Yo La Tengo, and naturally I was a little late to the party. It wasn't until a friend tipped me off a few years ago that Electr-o-pura is the place to start that it all kind of clicked for me (thanks David!).
It's an album that shows the group at their nerdy encyclopaedic best, as though they had spent years absorbing tracts of cultural references only to reconstitute them in entirely new ways. Weaving together shoegaze, kraut, power-pop, punk, abstract guitar heroics etc. no track on the album feels like a gimmicky genre exercise.
Instead what we're left with are classics of 90s US ‘indie rock.'' The film-star adoration of Tom Courtenay, the ode to the under-attended gig in The Hour Grows Late, the sentimental longing of Pablo and Andrea or My Heart's Reflection, the observational humour of Paul Is Dead, the epic Blue Line Swinger that makes 9+ minutes go buy in pop-song length. A classic album! (Even if it didn't make that absurd new Rolling Stone list!) -Mitch