Album Review: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One

Sometimes, we find our favorite songs in mundane experiences. Whether we get the recommendation of a lifetime from our friends, or we find a catchy song on the radio, the event is different for everyone. Still, we all have that one mind-altering experience with music. I first discovered Yo La Tengo through their heartwarming song titled “My Little Corner of the World.” After playing it on loop for hours on end, I finally listened to Yo La Tengo’s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, and I was shocked to find that this was more than a series of simple folk songs.

Album Cover Art for I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One by Yo La Tengo

I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One was released in 1997 by indie rock band Yo La Tengo. Most known for its various inspirations and genres, the album flips from acoustic folk-inspired tracks to glimpses of noise pop. For instance, tracks like “Autumn Sweater” and “The Lie and How We Told It” use catchy drums and blissful guitars to create homey, nostalgic tunes. Other tracks such as “Sugarcube” and “Deeper into Movies” use heavier guitars and distortions to take louder, rock-inspired approach. Despite these differences, Yo La Tengo masters each genre they tackle, and the end result is always interesting.

The most surprising track on I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One has to be “Center of Gravity.” Despite being the only bossa nova track of this project, it easily became my all time favorite song for its groovy percussions and different vocals. Still, each song in this project is different, so you never know what to expect once the track number changes. Yo La Tengo uses this unpredictable nature to their advantage. From beginning to end, I admired their musical variety instead of pushing it away. Even if you favor one genre over another, I guarantee you will find something to love about I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. Give this album a shot!

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