Summer Sun

Yo La Tengo

Released April 8 2003


Format: LP/CD/DA

Key Points:

  • Lonely boys that spent their allowances on 45 singles will enjoy playing spot the reference, ranging from the Isley Brothers 19twentyfirst century drawl of “Nothing But You And Me,” the Roland Kirk punchline of “How to Make a Baby Elephant Float,” Ira’s impersonations of Rod McKuen, and someone pulling a Lionel Hampton, not to mention that bitch motherfucker with the train tracks in Nashville flying his moped across the rails only to be caught in the background of “Moonrock Mambo.”
  • There is still plenty of comedy left in the darker corners of Summer Sun, including references to the band’s favorite chocolate bars, an interpretation of what “Skiffle Electronica” might sound like, and the first successful marriage of John Barry & Deodato. (Comedians never win Oscars, nor Grammys, so keep it quiet.)
  • Georgia gets the final run in extended-inning play on the album closer, a cover of Big Star’s “Take Care.”  A gorgeous farewell to the brothers Wilson, a shout out to the ailing Dick Dale, a crashing $20 wave to Japanese only Ventures releases, and a reminder as to why Yo La Tengo remains one of the few American institutions worth whistling Dixie about.  Thank you America!

– Dennis Callaci, 2003