New Jersey indie rockers Yo La Tengo had already been slowly growing into their sound for over a decade by the 1997 release of their revelational eighth album, I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. Their guitar-based pop was steadily finding its legs before this, as the band moved toward increasingly dreamy productions on albums like Painful and Electr-O-Pura. The 16 tracks that made up the ambitious and epic I Can Hear the Heart found the group stretching out their whispery vocals and deceptively straightforward pop approach to encompass a variety of unexpected styles. This meant softly wandering guitars and steadfast drums twisted out of their indie rock trappings and morphed into adventurous Krautrock jams like "Spec Bebop," haunting, harmony-driven psych-folk like "We're an American Band," and even a playfully naive take on bossa nova with "Center of Gravity".
Painful is the sixth studio album by indie rock band Yo La Tengo, released in 1993. The album marked a creative shift from Yo La Tengo's previous work, blending atmospheric and ambient sounds with their famous noise jams.
And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out is the ninth studio album by American indie rock band Yo La Tengo, released on February 22, 2000 by Matador Records. The album received positive reviews from critics.
Electr-O-Pura is the seventh studio album by the American indie rock band Yo La Tengo, released on May 2, 1995 by Matador Records. Electr-O-Pura received very positive reviews from music critics. Steven Mirkin, writing for Entertainment Weekly, commented: "Combining homespun charm, critical sophistication, and a fan's enthusiasm, Yo La Tengo sounds like a well-adjusted Velvet Underground. Electr-O-Pura's songs run the gamut from loopy pop to pensive folk to flat-out weird; their unpretentious honesty brings them together into a musically and emotionally satisfying whole." In 1996, the album was ranked at number 9 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll for 1995. Similarly, Spin placed the album at number 11 on their list of the "20 Best Albums Of '95".