Yo La Tengo

That Is Yo La Tengo

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A five-song stopgap issued in the year between Fakebook and May I Sing With Me, That Is Yo La Tengo signifies a return to the sprawling, feedback-laced noise pop forsaken for the former. Since three songs later appeared on May I Sing With Me and the other two resurfaced on the Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo compilation, it's probably of interest solely to collectors, but it's nevertheless fascinating to hear these songs in their original context; there's a greater reliance on uniformity of atmosphere and mood than on any other Yo La Tengo release, with the dark, ominous sound ideally matching the nocturnal street scene adorning the disc's cover. And although YLT's devotion to the Velvet Underground has never been in question, That Is Yo La Tengo represents the purest distillation of that affection -- the opening "Out the Window" is a primitive stomper in the classic VU mold, while the other tracks expand into reverential meditations on feedback, drone, and pure, unadulterated noisemaking.