Steady as she goes from Indie Institution
Rating: 6 / 10
Edwin McFee, 23 Sep 2009
Mythically awkward shoegazers Yo La Tengo have called their twelfth album Popular Songs coz, y’know, they’re not popular. Oh, never mind. What we have here is the band doing what they do best and that’s crafting synth-y, sugary tunes that pick you up when you’re feeling down and are free of rock star pretensions and multi-million dollar production. Slow, introspective numbers (‘By Two’s’) snuggle beside Beach Boys-inspired garage tunes (‘Nothing To Hide’). If you’re a fan there’s plenty to nourish your bones. Popular Songs won’t be the album to help them break into the big time. We get the feeling that suits Yo La Tengo just fine.