The Wax Conspiracy

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

It is somewhat absurd to think that you could somehow squeeze and adequately represent the 18-odd years that Yo La Tengo have been making music onto a two CD, 26 song collection.
Arguably, the period between and including Painful and And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-out was Yo La Tengo's best, and if you own any of these CDs you'll know that three songs taken from each hardly constitutes as a thorough indication of just how indispensable those albums actually are.

Where Prisoners of Love does become an essential purchase is when it is used as a jump-off point for discovering Yo La Tengo's back catalogue.
Furthermore, there are one or two songs such as "By the Time it Gets Dark" from the Little Honda EP or, indeed, "The River of Water" (which I suspect may have been Yo La Tengo's first release), etc, that may be a little more difficult to track down. Their inclusion might easily be welcomed by Yo La Tengo completists.

Ultimately, though, Prisoners of Love is still extremely worthwhile as a standalone purchase as all of the songs that made the cut are (despite some unevenness) very, very good.

our hero finds his inner peace

Note: if you're clever - and I most certainly am not - you can, for an extra ten dollars, pick up Prisoners of Love together with A Smattering of Outtakes And Rarities 1986-2002, a 16-track outtakes and rarities disc.
I can't tell you whether the music found on this CD is any good because, again, I was too stupid to actually buy it. I am assuming, however, that this disc is for the completists and that Scintillating Senescent Songs is for the inductees.

and the terrible, terrible, terrible thing is we knew it all along

Belvedere Jehosophat

Reviewed on Wednesday, 3 August 2005

The Wax Conspiracy

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