90FM Album Reviews: Yo La Tengo–"Fade"
Dan Waterman
daniel.d.waterman@uwsp.edu





 
The Indie Rock band “Yo La Tengo” released their 13th LP entitled Fade back in January. Fade is the band’s 13th CD they’ve released since their formation in the 1980’s. This New Jersey band is obviously comfortable and experienced when it comes to recording.
Yo La Tengo begins the album with the track “Ohm”. Ohm paints a hypnotic picture; combining an intricate percussion section (cowbell and all) with a fuzzed out guitar that sensibly layers distortion over every crevice of the song. Incorporation of horns adds credibility to comparing the song with something The Beatles might have done back in the 1970’s.
Ira Kaplan (lead guitarist) is brilliant throughout the album. He combines elements of jazzy smoothness with a distinct raw grittiness that would be difficult for anybody to duplicate.
Every song from Fade has a different feel. They experiment with song structure, time signatures and genres throughout the album. After previously receiving criticism for their “monofeeling” past releases, Fade combines quicker paced songs such as “Paddle Forward” and “Is That Enough” with psychedelic anthems like “Before We Run”. Before We Run does a delightful job in setting a listener down where they began.
Yo La Tengo is slowly but surely refining and updating their sound. Fade is far more delicate than their 2006 release “I’m Not Afraid of You and I’ll Beat You’re A**”. The album in its entirety is better thought through; it has dips and peaks which add to the listening experience.
With a majority of the band exceeding 50 years of age, the fact that they are still releasing material is admirable; the fact that they are still relevant in today’s alternative music scene is just the cherry on top.