Yo La Tengo delivers a classic

Every once in a while, an album comes along that makes my head explode. Indie rock favorite Yo La Tengo’s new album I Am Not Afraid Of You, And I Will Beat Your @ss is one of them. For their 10th full length album, Yo La Tengo didn’t really change the sound of the band or the composition of the songs. However, the lack of an innovative sound on their 10th album definitely doesn’t hurt the albums overall greatness. Band-mates Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew got the name of the album from an incident from the New York Knick’s bench. The story goes that Tim Thomas, now of the L.A. Clippers, said to notorious me-first teammate Stephon Marbury, “Everyone in this organization is afraid of you, but I’m not, and I will beat your ass.” For anyone that knows the bands “chill” nature will know that this title is a very ironic one. The story of how they got the name of the album is not unusual for the band. They get a lot of the names of songs from sports anecdotes. Even the name Yo La Tengo comes from an incident involving the New York Mets, in which communication was a problem between teammates. For those of you who are not in Spanish (or don’t pay attention), Yo La Tengo means “I’ve Got It.” Along with being known as a very mellow band, they are also known for experimenting in other genres. Such is the case on the song “Watch Out For Me Ronnie.” Yo La Tengo captures the California surfer punk sound perfectly in this rousing song. Those that have been Yo La Tengo fans for a while will love the tune “Beanbag Chair.” It uses the formula of the band-mates’ piano, drum and guitar to its maximum potential. The song makes one want to get up dance, or at least walk in a very festive manner. The best song on the album is “Black Flowers.” A tender tune with gentle vocals from guitarist Ira Kaplan, the song definitely is a delight for the ears. The softness of the song should not be underestimated, for the song builds to an emotional climax that leaves one tired yet strangely fulfilled. The lack of a new sound for Yo La Tengo is a disappointment, but with I Am Not Afraid Of You, And Will Beat Your @ss, they have delivered an instant classic. With this release, Yo La Tengo’s status as indie rock legends is cemented.