How’s the new one?
This is Yo La Tengo’s Harvest Moon. And in the same way that record commemorated Harvest, this one commemorates Fakebook, which brought together covers, remakes of Yo La Tengo songs and new originals.
It’s more muted and consistent in tone though. There’s nothing very fast or loud. The production is better because even though they sing and play quietly, the sound is sharp and clear.
It lacks the highest highs of the former. The difference between these two records is youthful exuberance vs. older contentment.
The covers range from Hank Williams, Sun Ra, the Cure, the Lovin’ Spoonful and the Parliaments. Is that enough for you? And they manage to bring all of the disparate styles of the originals together into this very unified sounding record.
One of the weaknesses of Fakebook was Ira’s vocals, which sometimes weren’t up to the beauty of the songs. Here, Georgia is front and center and it works great! She sings just as softly, but it’s still singing, not whispering. She’s smooth as silk. Sort of like Astrud Gilberto.
I’m just now noticing now that the originals sprinkled throughout Fakebook are pretty great. The originals here are more of a piece with the overall tone and can fade into the background.
And the highs of Fakebook were a little higher that the best stuff here, but that’s okay. There are no clunkers here.
And "Deeper into Movies" - a remake of one of their pounders from Heart is brilliant.
Here are both of them:
Is this the same band? Is this the same song?? Yes and yes!
So you can choose which record to listen to based on your mood. I’ll probably choose Fakebook a little more often, especially in the morning. But that’s okay. I’m still glad this one’s around. And it’s better at night time.
If you picked up any of these records you could get a skewed idea of who YLT is and what they can do. I’m not sure myself anymore since I’ve only got five out of the sixteen or so albums I counted on allmusic. And aside from this one I’ve got nothing by them from the last fifteen years. But you can be damn sure I’ll be looking into it.
So aside from getting all those records (a very worthwhile idea in itself, I think) I’m as ready for the show as can be.