Yo La Tengo – Fade

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Okay, so you know Yo La Tengo, the alternative band who has only been around for about thirty years and have released twelve studio albums? No? Well, crawl out from that cave you’ve been living in and get with things! This band has been putting out quality indie rock for a lot longer than most, and Fade is far from a disintegration of such merit and raw talent that this band possesses.

On the first song of Fade, “Ohm,” you have a fine example of the Velvet Underground-esque style of endless looping of the gritty guitars to start things off right. It’s a long track, pushing seven minutes, but the persistence of the song keeps you intrigued for its duration. The mild gang vocals slide in amidst some heavy hitting percussion, contributing to add up to a fuzzy, beast of a number, which sets the band up to launch right into yet another album filled with music that is simply easy to listen to—you can easily find yourself lost amidst the subtle vocals and the overall gentle sound.

While the first song is a bit grungy, it really doesn’t give way to the rest of the album is going to go; the first track is the grungiest number you’ll find on Fade. Immediately after, on “Is That Enough,” while the fuzzy guitars are still present, the string work lightens up things quickly. But as far as the lighter tracks go on this album, stronger songs are to be had later on, such as “Stupid Things.” Fifth on the album, it’s about the peppiest of songs to be had, with Ira Kaplan’s vocals coming at you, echoed and foggy in the verses and sweetly soaring through the choruses. Meanwhile you have a steady upbeat carrying things on jollily. Another unmistakably strong song comes at the very end of the album with “Before We Run,” which incorporates the string work from before, the persistent buzz of Yo La Tengo, and the deep vocals of Georgia Hubley. Similar in length of the first number, the last track on Fade provides for a wonderful ending to the simplicity and comfortable tracks on this album, complete with some magnificent horn work to round things out.  

While the majority of the tracks are easily accessible, Fade can also be lost track of when listened to. Sure, it’s a great record to listen to when you’re just laying around or on an afternoon drive, but it isn’t really the kind of album that persists you to listen to it. Fade doesn’t beg for your attention, but it makes good use when it gets it.

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