Posted January 15, 2013 by Mark in Tunes

Whopperjaw Album Review: Yo La Tengo’s Fade

From the hypnotizing double entendre “Ohm” throughout the rest of the album, Fade is the work of a self-assured, comfortable – but never complacent – group of musicians. Yo La Tengo keeps challenging itself (working for the first time with John McEntire, redefining and honing its aesthetic) and its listeners, as both continue to grow and learn.

After almost 30 years in existence – and 20 years in this incarnation – it’s perhaps not the element of surprise or reinvention that drives Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew as much as the imperatives of quality and of openness. Most evidenced by the wistful “The Point Of It,” there’s a sense of grace that centers Fade. This is not so much a declarative document – Yo La Tengo has made many of those. Fade is more contemplative, reflective. Ultimately, it is also meaningfully, powerfully current.

The trio’s collaboration with McEntire yields a sonically fruitful, multi-layered sensibility, evidenced by the recording’s analog synths, strings and horns.

Check out Ira Kaplan’s recent interview with the NPR show, “Here and Now,” here.



Mark Woodlief wrote for the cool '90s magazines that didn't make it – Option, Raygun, Warp, The (Seattle) Rocket, CMJ – plus some daily and weekly newspapers, too. Seeing all the great bands – Mission of Burma, Husker Du, Volcano Suns, Flaming Lips, Wire, the dBs, the Feelies, Patti Smith, ad infinitum – he has seen has left him Whopperjawed.