Studio Album by released in 2013
Fade's tracklist:
Is That Enough
Well You Better
Paddle Forward
Stupid Things
I'll Be Around
Cornelia and Jane
Two Trains
The Point of It
Before We Run

Fade review

Good news from Yo La Tengo

The abstract contemporary notion of indie rock, applied too often, both aptly and out of place, acquires quite tangible contours and its original meaning when it comes to the description of the established and experienced ensemble Yo La Tengo. Since the very start, this trio has been making a particular kind of rock with an innovated sound and unprecedented forms, without looking at set stereotypes and genre laws. This is actual indie rock, independent rock. In these thirty years, Yo La Tengo have repeatedly completed miraculous musical transformations, each time offering an interesting novelty to satisfy most listeners. 2013 barely arrived when the ensemble released their thirteenth studio long player under the title Fade. The actual fact of the release is big and good news for fans of the band which, after so many active years, no longer goes to the studio so often. But this is where good news only begin because the content of the album is just as good as you could only expect.

Fade mirrors the originality of the Yo La Tengo style

It comes as quite an original move from Yo La Tengo to open Fade with an epic song called Ohm, where muted vocal parts and lo fi sounding, together with deliberate unhurriedness, form an atmosphere of some languor or idleness. This track is so impressive that one does not expect to hear any different kind of music as the album unfolds. However, the next piece, Is Tha Enough, displays a completely different approach, essentially, reflecting what Yo La Tengo are. Is That Enough is a volatile mixture of rock guitars, pop melody, string and a whole set of clattering and clanging something, which comes out surprisingly as a very integral entity. Fade is quite a shirt album, and we reach the heart of the record before we know it, finding, arguably, the highlights. Paddle Forward, and Stupid Things apply promptly the band’s classic tools, lively tempo, tasty tunes and advanced vocal harmonies. All of that is performed alongside quite unsophisticated instrumentation, and the music itself sounds pretty stripped and thin, leaving a lot of space for the voices, and creating a sensation of soaring or slumbering.

Time to listen to Fade

The second half of Fade kicks off with slow and relaxed songs I’ll Be Around, and Cornelia And Jane, featuring soft acoustic guitar plucking and brass section. We face quite a dull and sad picture which will remain the same to the very last sounds of the album. In the closing part of the record there is a very powerful, musically expanded, track called Before We Run with a very successful usage of saxophone. It appears that Fade is a foundation of easy, evasive guitars and vocal duo of spouses Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, upon which in each song curious structures are erected. It would be a mistake to say that this is the first time Yo La Tengo have risked enriching their simplistic dreamy material inspired by the rock of the sixties, with elements of other trends and untraditional for rock instruments like saxophone, but this is on Fade where they do it to the maximum degree of impact and professionalism. On the whole, the music and feel of this CD are a good match for this spell of the year, cold January evenings, when festive enthusiasm has passed, and calm and comfort settle in. Yo La Tengo have again demonstrated how to make excellent albums without following someone else’s opinions.

Alex Bartholomew (21.01.2013)
Rate review3.50
Total votes - 8

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