YLT is aspiring to be a best kept secret cover band!
Stefan | Atlanta, GA | 06/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love Yo La Tengo then undoubtedly you have seen them perform live, and every show is a treat to see what cover song they'll play in the encore...Little Honda is a gem of these, with the best cover of "Be Thankful For What You've Got" I have ever heard. My other favorite track on this disc is "How Much I've Lied" which has some of the most brilliant true to life lyrics Ira's ever breathed..."
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 10/08/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"One of several singles from I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, "Little Honda" is an EP of cover songs-- six studio performances and two unlisted live takes.
The title track, originally from the Beach Boys, is one of the great covers by Yo La Tengo, sticking to the original attitude of the piece without embracing its sound-- the band drives the piece off a distorted guitar riff framing a confident and attitude-drenched vocal from guitarist Ira Kaplan. It's presented in both the album cut and a live take. The latter is lacking a bit, the vocal sounds a bit more assertive and misses some of the swagger the studio cut presented.
The rest of the covers are kind of a mixed bag-- William DeVaughn's "Be Thankful For What You Got" finds the band slinking into an r&b groove with a laid back, two (and sometimes three) part vocal harmony, but largely, it feels a bit too detached for me to really enjoy it. Both the Kinks' "No Return" and the Urinals' "Black Hole" get '60s pop with jangly guitar readings that don't do it for me. The band turns torwards their folky/country side for covers of Gram Parson's "How Much I've Lied" and Sandy Denny's "By the Time it Gets Dark". Both are pretty good renditions, but by and large, I never loved Yo La Tengo's folk stuff, although "By the Time It Gets Dark" is absolutely fantastic, pretty stuff with a nice two part vocal. The record closes with a fairly goofy cover of Queen's "We Are the Champions", there's not a whole lot to say about it other than that.
The EP is fun, but honestly, Yo La Tengo's done a lot better covers than the stuff on this record. Only diehard fans need this one, everyone else can skip it."