About a month ago, I argued that Yo La Tengo have demonstrated extraordinarily consistent talent throughout its career. The same could easily be said of Built to Spill, and the band’s seventh and most recent album, “There Is No Enemy,” is no exception.
“Enemy” offers track after track of swooningly gorgeous, meticulously-crafted instrumentation. It’s the sort of stuff that makes you realize that being good at “Guitar Hero” makes you no more a musician than “Halo” prepares you for interplanetary war.
So, you might be asking, why an “A-” instead of an “A”?
Well, for all the loveliness found on “Enemy,” there is also a degree of same-iness: Despite the album’s beauty, there is a lack of clear moments that demand the listener’s attention.
The songs melt together into a grand but indistinct pool of shimmering guitars and clockwork percussion. Its subtleties reward repeated listening, but someone new to the band might be better off starting with 1999’s “Keep It Like A Secret” before moving on to “Enemy.” Fans, however, will be pleased.