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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, Melodic And (Rather) Mellow
Yo La Tengo's latest, much anticipated by us aficionados, and thereby facing a sterling challenge to 'come up to scratch' (particularly, a 'YLT scratch'), 2013's Fade, with its set of haunting melodies and lyrics, for me, pretty much hits the mark - on an album that (like many of YLT's) is a relatively slow burner. Eschewing the lush and more extravagant production...
Published 21 months ago by Keith M

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A respectable 3.5 stars for Indie Rock Royalty.
With no news about Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon reconciling their relationship circulating, it's probably safe to assume there won't be another Sonic Youth album for a while. Thank goodness for Yo La tengo then, who now remain one of last bands still making music together who were around during the inception of what came to be called Alternative Rock. Yo La's continuing...
Published 21 months ago by Kenneth


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A respectable 3.5 stars for Indie Rock Royalty., 18 Jan 2013
By 
Kenneth (nottingham, england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
With no news about Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon reconciling their relationship circulating, it's probably safe to assume there won't be another Sonic Youth album for a while. Thank goodness for Yo La tengo then, who now remain one of last bands still making music together who were around during the inception of what came to be called Alternative Rock. Yo La's continuing existence is not simply something to rejoice for sentimental reasons though, because most importantly like the NYC veterans they have consistently put out records of such a high caliber throughout their lenghy tenure that we'd be severely impoverished if they also decided to finally pack up and call it a day.

"Fade" is the latest offering from the Hoboken favourites and although it doesn't quite round off what could have been a trio of brilliant late career releases it's another solid effort from a band that couldn't suck if their life depended on it. Stylistically "Fade" falls somewhere between their last out and out masterpiece "And Then Turned Itself Inside Out" and the slightly underrated "Summer Sun". If you've heard those two records you'll know by that descriptor that this is Yo La Tengo in ambient mode; soft organ drones, hummable guitar melodies and whispered vocals are all delicately splayed over the ten tracks on here, aside from the clattering krautrock indebted opener "OHM".

These songs are all sweet and undenaibly pleasant but do feel a little too familiar at times, almost like Yo La have tweaked previously existing material in their colossal back catalogue and tried to repackage them as something new here. In fact i'm pretty certain that's happened subconciously on almost every Yo la Tengo album post "Fakebook" so it would be unfair of me to criticize them for being self referrential on principle, as it's a formula that's definitely been working for them for well over 20 years! "Fade" like the previously mentioned "Summer Sun" is just lacking a little bit of inspiration that's all and therefore it's relatively indistinguishable amongst their mostly brilliant pre-existing discography. Still, tender heart warming moments are smattered all over "Fade" and it's approachable nature make it a fine entry point for newcomers and a satisfactory purchase for long time fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, Melodic And (Rather) Mellow, 21 Jan 2013
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
Yo La Tengo's latest, much anticipated by us aficionados, and thereby facing a sterling challenge to 'come up to scratch' (particularly, a 'YLT scratch'), 2013's Fade, with its set of haunting melodies and lyrics, for me, pretty much hits the mark - on an album that (like many of YLT's) is a relatively slow burner. Eschewing the lush and more extravagant production values of YLT-regular Roger Moutenot for John McEntire's sparser, rawer sound, Fade finds the band at their most studied and reflective (a feature which may well have been influenced by Ira's recently mooted 'serious health scare'), thereby providing a textbook example of the maxim 'less is more'.

Indeed, although most of the songs here are mid-tempo, restrained affairs, the band make excellent use of strings (in particular on Is That Enough and Before We Run) and brass (Cornelia And Jane and Before We Run) and they have lost none of their (near unique) ability to hook the listener with an affecting, and moody, melody. The nearest Fade comes to anything like the pyrotechnic grandeur of the band's 'massive sounding' classics, such as Blue Line Swinger, The Story of Yo La Tango and Deeper Into Movies, is in the album's two bookending songs - opener Ohm, with its group harmony vocals, reflective lyrics ('Lose no more time, cause it's been fun, but nothing ever stays the same') and trademark (though slightly toned down) Ira solo, and the closer Before You Run, on which Georgia and Ira take part in a touchingly romantic 'call and response' vocal, behind which the extended band (including brass and strings) provide a haunting and intoxicating melody.

Otherwise, Fade provides us with a nicely judged set of poignant (and often romantic) little gems. Each of Is That Enough, Well You Better, I'll Be Around (with its beautiful acoustic guitar) and Cornelia and Jane (featuring Georgia's dulcet and tender vocal) are perfectly formed and affecting. Paddle Forward, on the other hand inhabits rockier territory, and with that magnificent Nothing To Hide-like guitar sound and hook is a personal favourite, whilst Stupid Things is simply mesmerising, and features one of James' most heavenly vocal turns (and a nicely restrained guitar solo).

On first listening, Fade's quality does not smack you in the face, but on repeated playing the subtle beauty of these songs eventually blossoms (at least in my ears), and whilst I would still declare a preference for their masterpiece I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One and (for me their best record since Heart) I Am Not Afraid Of You, Fade is another worthy addition to the band's body of work (I'm already looking forward to their Barbican gig in March).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Standing test of time, 22 Jan 2013
By 
Koos "Koos Reitsma" (Groningen, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
No screaming guitars, no guitar extortion, no noisy guitars, no extended song based on heavy guitar riffs. Anything but that, but more `less is more'. It is like blues gitarist Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac his famous trademark `less is more' has been used. Important to know: just like on previous records Yo La Tengo is doing their own thing and they don't do it by overnight. Because of this attitude records since `Painfull' have stood the test of time.

`Fade' opens enormous strong. Georgia lays down a shuffling drumbeat combined with James his bass line that makes your head nod. Your head will continue going up and down once quickly Ira introduces his moving guitar riff. When the song has ended, you'll feel like this short song is over too quickly only to realize it is 6m47sec. Through the record you'll treated on many small details by this three piece band. Subtlety is always looking around the corner to pop up. Gentle things are hidden in different songs like `Stupid things' with its warm chords and echoing and in the acoustic guitar track `I'll be around' where you can actually hear Ira moving his fingers over the guitar strings.

Yo La Tengo lovers and dedicators to noisy guitar and to guitar extortion probably will find this brand new record disappointing. It is not their masterpiece, because it lacks the diversity like in my personal favorite "I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass". But I can understand why in advance some reviews have made the link with "I can hear the heart beat as one" and with "And then nothing turned itself inside out"

Fade is a much appreciated and beautiful record. Fade won't fade but will stand the test of time.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Predictable And Enjoyable. Predictably., 14 Jan 2013
By 
Gannon (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
Your common-or-garden indie type may find himself wanting bigger hooks, your long-time fan something a little more stoned and/or weird, but in recent years Yo La Tengo have instead proved themselves again and again with substantial shades of subtlety and the likeable Fade continues this run. An album borne thus of esoteric intelligence, downright mellifluous maturity and much of the last 10-15 years of Yo La Tengo material it therefore naturally seems a statesmanlike gesture, smudging its more grandiose moments with periods of easy-time jamming.

As such, the stabbing strings and parping horns of "Before We Run" are cosy rather than challenging, the simmering fuzz and carefree meanders of the splendid "Ohm" polite, complimentary and a world away from seeking some sort of abrasive art status. Fade is not however all summer's day haze and horizontal vibes; there are sentimental country asides too, and a wonderful dose of dreamy background distortion courtesy of "Paddle Forward". The last vestiges of the band's early Velvet Underground fixation can be heard also, surfacing in the organ work of the silly little ditty "Well You Better" and elsewhere via Georgia Hubley`s Nico-like vocal harmonies.

Fade`s flipside though, it must be said, is more predictable. Full of latter-day Richard Youngs/ Neil Young high and lonesome psyche-folk whispers, the balladesque "I'll Be Around" is understated in its minimalism, "Cornelia And Jane" striking thanks to its bent strings and echo - the best of this bunch, "Two Trains", pleasingly reminiscent of all the best sleepy and deep Americana recordings.

Ira Kaplan and Hubley's current fascination with lightly country-fried indie may not be culturally urgent nor as inspirational as certain previous experiments have been, but Fade is undoubtedly made of the same stock. Once upon time, as Yo La Tengo, they may have written their own rulebook, but nowadays, with safe chapters like Fade, they seem content to simply usher in an era of happily ever after - and, with a history like theirs, it'd probably be churlish to deny them the right to do just that.

Advised downloads: "Ohm" and "Paddle Forward"
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5.0 out of 5 stars mood perfect, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
slightly disassociated, slightly dreamy but still some edge - really cool walking in the woods music - definitely one for wrap around headphones - i listen to it walking through airports
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb album from a superb band., 12 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
This is just gorgeous. A definite contender in year-end lists! Their sound hasn't changed despite a different producer for the first time in years. A band that never puts a foot wrong and a sublime live act.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another perfect album by the perfect band, 9 July 2013
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This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
They're probably muito favourite band, and with albums like this I'm truly know why. Despite being more subdued and less obvious than previous albums, it's just sublime, and grows on you with every listen. It's just perfect. Resisting the flow!
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 2 April 2013
By 
Ms. R. Vowles "moomins" (blackheath, london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
An amazing album, I listen to 6 music a lot and its been on the playlist a lot of tracks familiar. Real Yo la Tengo just sublime buy it!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fade is really good., 16 Jan 2013
By 
Mr. R. Miller - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fade (Audio CD)
I'll get straight to "The Point Of It" - Fade has all the mesmerizing beauty your looking for from Yo La Tengo. The genius in Fade is its unassuming plurality. Yo La Tengo administer another gracefully introspective moment of melodic beauty, laced with soul medicine. Essentially any clever use of language doesn't really capture it's rapture. Just get this album, it'll give you more comfort than your favourite pillow, but remain a mystery for a long time to come.
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Fade
Fade by Yo La Tengo (Audio CD - 2013)
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