Yo La Tengo have always had a dry sense of humour, always been a little self- effacing. That their 15th album shares a name with Sly & the Family Stone’s brooding, bleak but potent masterpiece shows it’s not been lost. The title works for both, of course: that 1971 record was created amid civil unrest and, you might have noticed, there’s a riot currently going on all around us.
But this record is less a riot, more a beautifully shuffling glide. A gorgeous, quiet album made in loud, confusing times. It starts with ‘You Are Here’ which builds into a dreamy swirl of guitars and synths, takes in the gently clattering rhythms of ‘Above the Sound’ and enchants with the understated, scuffed folk of ‘Shades of Blue’. Then joyfully, towards the end, comes ‘Esportes Casual’ which sounds like the theme tune to their own TV comedy show. It makes beautiful, bizarre sense in these bewildering times.