Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Yo La Tengo: Electr-O-Pura [Matador, 1995]
Altern-A-Pura would be more like it. Brimful of punk, fuzz, feedback, noise, and the lovingly amped squelches of fingers sliding off strings, their seventh album is a subcultural tour de force, luxuriating so sybaritically in guitar sound that I'm reluctant to mention that the tunes are pretty good. That's why it's the best record they've ever made, though. Singing's breathy as usual, with Ira yelling when the time is right. As for the lyrics, you know--murmured, gnomic, pop culture references, that kind of thing. A