Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Yo La Tengo|
Ride the Tiger
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
In the liner notes for Matador's rerelease of Yo La Tengo's first album, YLT singer and then-rhythm guitarist Ira Kaplan writes, "To me, [Ride the Tiger] sounds like a Dave Schramm album." He's not completely off; back in ... more »
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In the liner notes for Matador's rerelease of Yo La Tengo's first album, YLT singer and then-rhythm guitarist Ira Kaplan writes, "To me, [Ride the Tiger] sounds like a Dave Schramm album." He's not completely off; back in those days, Schramm's guitar work (which can be heard, to better effect, in the Schramms) easily dominated the sound of the then-folky YLT. But it's not entirely a bad thing, either, since Schramm's guitar invigorated Kaplan's songs just as easily as it dominated them. Without his influence (see "The Forest Green"), there's no telling whether Kaplan would have developed into the guitar player evident on YLT's later works. There's also some ace taste in covers, including Arthur Lee & Love, the Kinks, and Pete Seeger. --Randy Silver
Such a nice little band!
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Pleasant...what other word could you use to describe this? This is a very safe, tame mid-'80s kind of indie-rock album. It's hard to believe this is the same band that virtually defined iconoclastic indie cool (non-grunge division) in the '90s and beyond. But that's not meant as criticism. This is the sound of a band arguably recorded too soon--it was still shy and learning to play. And Ira Kaplan's liner notes in the CD reissue admit this, and then some. The album is no worse than forgettable folk-rock/pop, but it's rarely more than that, and few songs stand out ("The Evil That Men Do" the most because it hints at the noisier YLT to come). Even this Tengo diehard has probably played it less than 10 times over the years, because it mostly inspires me to take it off after about four songs so I can hear some of their later, better work instead.The curse of many rock bands is that their first album was by far their best, and the rest of their career is a slow (or sometimes, fast) fade. Yo La Tengo is unique in that they've just gotten better with time, and this album is the main proof. So enjoy it as a pleasant historical document, but don't expect too much."
B. Allison | 07/09/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"you've heard of YLT... don't know which album to buy... sometimes a band's first album is arguably the best... such is not the case for this YLT album. buy anything later than 1990 and you'll hear why lotsa people dig 'em."
Ride the Tiger takes the tiger by the tail
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The original four-piece Yo La Tengo, formed by a fromer Village Voice music critic and Velvet Underground/Kinks fan and his wife, present some of the best power pop of the 1980s in this offering. Originally released in 1986, "Ride the Tiger" presents a sharp-edged jangle which is equally at home in complete melodicism and noise. The tunes run from originals like the immediate and powerful "The Pain of Pain" and "The Way Some People Die" to the Kinks' "Big Sky" and Pete Seeger's "Living In the Country". This is the only release to feature Dave Schram as a member (he later went on to form the DIY pop band the Schrams and also appears as a guest on Yo La Tengo's 1991 release, "Fakebook"). The playing is immediate and unforced, the vocals without pretense. Newcomers to Yo La Tengo will hear parallels to R.E.M., the Velvet Underground, the Kinks, Neil Young, the Feelies, and like-minded bands and solo artists. This is one of the best CDs of the 1980s, bar none."