Yo La Tengo: Fade (Matador) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, December 15th, 2019  

Yo La Tengo

Fade

Matador

Jan 11, 2013 Issue #44 - Best of 2012 - Grimes Bookmark and Share


If Yo La Tengo's career were human, it would have been granted the right to vote shortly after their 1997 album I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. (Feel old yet?) As they approach the end of their second decade together, it seems almost inevitable that the Hoboken, New Jersey band would start ruminating on the deeper stuffchiefly life and death. Dark? Yes. But Yo La Tengo's thirteenth full-length is anything but an emotional burden. (Not that we'd expect navel gazing from any band that has a side project called Condo Fucks.) Perhaps it would be a cliché to say that the trio is still showing younger bands how it's donebut seriously, newbies... take note.

Yo La Tengo saunters through the album's 10 tracks with a cool detachment that calls to mind career monoliths I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One and 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. This is fine-print rock, light on their signature jazz-filled freakouts and jam sessions save for high watermark "Ohm," which features both a driving beat and squealing guitars. Instead, easy rockers constructed with acoustic elements and murmured recollections are put on display. What's gained in their restraint (and cultivated with help from longtime producer Roger Moutenot) is a sense of hard-won elegance. There's a through line of doubtand making peace with itthat informs nearly every song. "It's unimportant as far as I can tell/what's important, I can't see so well," sings vocalist Ira Kaplan on "Is That Enough," his placid tension highlighted by a lush bed of strings. Maturation? Yeah, sure, you could call it that. But for a band that has made change their consistent state, Fade is another welcome stop on a career that shows no signs of growing old. (www.yolatengo.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Greg
January 17th 2013
4:56pm

Yo La Tengo formed in 1979?