Summer Sun - Yo La Tengo

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. As irresistible at its peak - the luscious 'Little Eyes' and a lovely interpretation of Big Star's 'Take Care' - as it is baffling at its prog-jazz edges, 'Summer Sun' is the crowbar that pries open the door into a world of left-field beauty.
  2. This minor masterpiece of an album is nothing less than a precision exercise in deconstructed songwriting.
  3. Summer Sun is pleasant, if nothing else, but that's such a loaded word for an album that clearly aspires to (and ought to be) so much more than it accomplishes.
  4. Summer Sun, while constantly very good, is never creative, inspiring or great. [Editor's Note: Score listed is an average of three separate reviews/scores by this publication: 56, 60, 68]
  5. Like Stereolab and Beck, Yo La Tengo liberate their listeners by downplaying language and logic in favor of our bodies' hazy dreams.
  6. Summer Sun is so mellow and pretty that it feels uncharitable to call it one of their weakest albums in recent memory; many bands would kill to make music this accomplished.
  7. Most of Summer Sun is underwhelming to downright cringe-inducing.
  8. An hour-long dream-pop kiss that floats by on a bed of brushed drums, lilting Hawaiian guitars and whispered vocals.
  9. Summer Sun is a stunner, a subtle but substantial collection of non-sequiturs that displays the scope of Yo La Tengo’s tweaked-out serenity.
  10. Summer Sun stretches Yo La Tengo's musical boundaries even further than before, as well as reaching back to tie-up loose ends from past master works.
  11. As good as Summer Sun is, and it's very good, it just doesn't quite have the timeless, magical quality that And Then Nothing had.
  12. The more time you spend with Summer Sun, the more fun it turns out to be.
  13. Few bands are this awake to the possibility that music can be both droning and catchy.
  14. The back two-thirds of the disc simply wanders around a bit too much, but there are still some real gems.
  15. 80
    A set of busy beautiful whispers, 62 minutes of exquisite suspended animation. [Apr 2003, p.87]
  16. 80
    From the edge of the sea, back to the fringes of sleep, Summer Sun is uncommonly lovely. [May 2003, p.104]
  17. 80
    They sound comfortable in their own skin--and able to get under yours. [May 2003, p.127]
  18. Their most challenging album to date. [June 2003, p.98]
  19. Summer Sun is a compelling, enthralling and gorgeous album that gets better with each listen.
  20. Summer Sun is full of beautiful melodies that fail to excite for the sole reason that, for the already initiated, it seems like old hat.
  21. Here, they may have taken self-effacement too far. [May 2003, p.114]
  22. Equal parts Alex Chilton, Gilberto Gil, and early YLT. [11 Apr 2003, p.78]
  23. 75
    Summer Sun sometimes sounds like a band treading water at low tide, but obsessively exploring the contours of a moment is what Yo La have been about from day one. [Jul 2003, p.109]
  24. While rock fans may be disappointed by Yo La Tengo's fleeting venture into playful jazz, the group continue to produce music that's full of gesture and emotional intensity. [#231, p.73]
  25. Summer Sun doesn't have the collective impact of its predecessors, a problem typically attributable to song selection, sequencing and mixing.
  26. Reveals Yo La Tengo's understanding of stasis without stagnation.

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