Monday, February 05, 2007
Giving this CD a workout lately. I might like it as much as I Can Feel the Heart Beating as One, which is my favorite Yo La Tengo*. I Am Not Afraid is specifically rooted in the 1960s/very early 1970s, with extended acid jams reminiscent of Ummagumma/Atom Heart Mother/Meddle-era Pink Floyd. There are aesthetically-pleasing nods to John Cale("Black Flowers") and Roger McGuinn ("The Race is On Again"), to Velvet Underground and the pop psychedelics of bands like the Electric Prunes. The album is not stale, however, and manages to innovate while successfully weaving its way through more than a dozen musical styles. The singing is interesting, the harmonies more complex than other YLT I know. There is lots of gorgeous guitar shredding, of course. At times moody, challenging, and mysterious, I Am Not Afraid is not afraid to include pure pop ditties either.
I might be too busy this weekend to see their Friday show at Sonar--hopefully I can get away!
*Tip of the hat to Silenus, who started this.