There's a Riot Going On

Yo La Tengo - There's a Riot Going On
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2018 Ratings: #449 / 831
User Score
Based on 169 ratings
2018 Ratings: #380
Liked by 1 person
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There's a Riot Going On is an exceptional addition to Yo La Tengo's legacy, a timeless classic.

A.V. Club

For the most part, There’s A Riot Going On succeeds in finding strength in the stillness.

God Is in the TV

Full of intertextual layering and referencing, this album is a rich and cohesive piece.

The Skinny

This is no call to arms, nor is it rife with political statements. It's a celebration of the small changes that we can make in our own worlds, and which YLT continue to make with each record.

Loud and Quiet

There’s a lush, other-worldly feel to all fifteen tracks, and at times they sound positively heavenly.

The Guardian

There are flickers of the old fire on There’s a Riot Going on.


There’s A Riot Going On takes longer to reveal its treasures, but ends up being an enduring and rewarding listen, their best since 2009’s Popular Songs.

Under The Radar

There's a Riot Going On is perhaps the band's most self-reflexive—something the band have spent more than enough time doing already—and dreamy.

Drowned in Sound

There’s a Riot Going On is their fifteenth album and, like most of their discography, it carries itself with an unassuming (but powerful) air of quiet confidence. On this record – on the last three or four records perhaps – Yo La Tengo sound like they have existed forever.

No Ripcord

There's a Riot... was never meant to be this bold political statement. And why would it be? There's a dime a dozen of those right now. Instead, Yo La Tengo wants us to absorb their calm serenity, and that it's okay to sit down and distance ourselves from the negativity we encounter from time to time.

FLOOD Magazine
The album is all grace notes—something that’s underscored by Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley singing with total, unflappable zen; they let themselves be untroubled here, and invite you to join them for as long as these tranquil tunes reverberate.
The undulating tones anchor it all, giving it a unified purpose even though few of the melodies are of the hummable variety. A riot? Hardly. But by combining these trance-like textures in such an incessant way, they’ve created music of a mostly memorable variety regardless.

On Riot, Yo La Tengo sound more brooding than ever, which is saying something coming from the band that gave the world the 77-minute tone-poem, 2000’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out.

The Line of Best Fit

On their dense, careworn new LP (their fifteenth studio effort), indie stalwarts/college rock heavyweights Yo La Tengo have shown that can still bring fresh ideas to the table, despite the album being fifteen tracks long, and it being over thirty years since their first album.

More than most any other Yo La Tengo album, it has a palpable, unflappable mood all of its own.
It is, as any indie fan would imagine, a pretty chilled affair, but one with a few surprises up its sleeve.

There's a Riot Going On is, in its own subtle way, Yo La Tengo at their most uncompromised; it's an album that's likely to separate their most hardcore fans from more casual admirers, though if you loved "Night Falls on Hoboken" from And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, you'll likely savor it.

Crack Magazine
It’s a record with a gentleness that urges you to try and be less anxious, with a fragility that acknowledges that it probably hasn’t worked.
Pretty Much Amazing

There’s a Riot Going On ... is textured quite nicely here and there, in amongst all the soft dreamy shuffly-ness that subsumes the words in the mix more than on the last few YLT albums.

Northern Transmissions

The album often feels like it can’t decide what it wants to be, and makes one wonder exactly what the band was going for.

Spectrum Culture
It’s a decidedly mellow affair that seems to prize consistency and stability over all else.
The Observer

Like virtually every other Yo La Tengo album, Riot finds the veteran trio striving to make the guitar band sound like the high point of human civilisation, rather than a vehicle for rebelliousness. It is, however, a departure for them.

Tiny Mix Tapes

There’s a Riot Going On’s theory doesn’t quite match up to its execution, and its parts are greater than the whole. So, is it more beautiful, or is it more boring? The problem is that it’s often too difficult to tell the difference.

Gradually, you realise that the airy tranquility of the band’s own ‘There’s a Riot Going On’ was born of an urgent desire to redress the balance - to meet pain and suffering with light and love. The results are quietly overwhelming.
The Independent
The occasional cut slices through the general blandness - the lilting “Shades Of Blue” is a winsome folk-pop lollop, and the Neu! motorik groove gives “For You Too” a rare drive - but overall this seems more escapist than reactive, not much help at all.
I realized today that Yo La Tengo, since Painful at least, have never released a 'bad' LP. Indeed, James, Ira, and Georgia are a rare wellspring, a restorative 'pale', of ethical sociality—deeply attuned to each other's beings, truly committed to learning, constantly, what it means to *be* together: and how that kind of collectivity is always about exploration. I've spent the better part of the last few months diving into, and deeply savoring, their material, and while I'm hesitant to ... read more
the ambient side of this record is outstandingly beautiful
This riot made me realize:
1- I really like this band no matter what...
2- It's impossible for this band to release a bad album
3- Any of its albums can play the role of the challenging rapporteur in the fascinating indieland
Still relevant
Super relaxing album. I'm not sure how much I'll come back to it (only time will tell), but it was EXACTLY what I needed after the past few weeks.
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Track List

  1. You Are Here
  2. Shades of Blue
  3. She May, She Might
  4. For You Too
  5. Ashes
  6. Polynesia #1
  7. Dream Dream Away
  8. Shortwave
  9. Above the Sound
  10. Let's Do It Wrong
  11. What Chance Have I Got
  12. Esportes Casual
  13. Forever
  14. Out of the Pool
  15. Here You Are
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Added on: January 18, 2018