Sunday, April 03, 2005

Yo La Tengo / Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003 / 8.2

I don’t mean to pick on Davis Raposa (since his my last few reviews have been of his work) but I feel like he missed the point of this record and opted for a wordy run down of the release rather than get to the heart of the matter of appreciate the spirit of why this retrospective exists at all.

Function: verb
1 : to speak with spotty or superficial knowledge
2 : to dabble in

Function: adjective:
brilliantly lively, stimulating, or witty

Function: noun1
1. the state of being old : the process of becoming old
2 : the growth phase in a plant or plant part (as a leaf) from full maturity to death

The title of Yo La Tengo’s retrospective, “Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003” is an apt choice. Witty with pretentious leanings, there is also an undertone of humor which wonderfully steers this collection from being too self important. To put it simply, this 3 cd set is a celebration of a bands 20 year career and has a unique perspective because a) it is the band who complied this material an B) Yo la Tengo is still very much an active band.

"Prisoner of Love" is not stiff, predictable or perfect and this is what makes it so personal and charming. The collection as a whole feels like a sentimental anniversary gift to the fans that candidly shares their musical history, ALL of it. It may not be the usual platinum or china one gives after 20 years together but this Hoboken trio really are romantic at heart and have three discs to prove it.

I give this review a 300 out of a possible 600 verbal SAT score.