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49 customer reviews

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Fade + I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One + I Am Not Afraid of You & I Will Beat Your Ass
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Editorial Reviews

Fade is the most direct, personal and cohesive album of Yo La Tengo's career to date. Recorded with John McEntire at Soma Studios in Chicago, it recalls the sonic innovation and lush cohesion of career high points like 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One and 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. The album is a tapestry of fine melody and elegant noise, rhythmic shadowplay and shy-eyed orchestral beauty, songfulness and experimentation.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 15, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,412 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Hubner on January 25, 2013
Format: Audio CD
After only listening to the first minute of 'Ohm', the opening track of Yo La Tengo's excellent new album Fade, you get the feeling that something is different. It has a weight to it in its simplicity of only guitar, drums, and vocals that hasn't been heard before in a YLT song. Not that they gave us fluff before. Yo La Tengo have always been epic songwriters, channeling everyone from The Feelies to Burt Bacharach, and putting it through their own New Jersey filter. Adding equal parts piss, vinegar, heart, and humor that has made this band endearing from the very beginning. The kind of band you'd get into a fist fight over defending their genius. But this time around, there's something different. They seem to have sidestepped the genre-hopping, the 10-minute guitar dirges, and even the break neck punk head butts we heard on I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass. No, here on Fade Ira, James, and Georgia have given us the most precise, pop-inflected, introspective, and transcendent Yo La Tengo album yet. 'Ohm' sets the mood this time around. Simple, direct, and inspiring.

But we still have some fun on this album, too.

'Is That Enough' sounds like a Brill Building lost track. Something that would've fit nicely on the b-side of a Shagri-las or Shirelles "45". 'Well You Better' starts with some great electric piano before a head-bobbing drum 'n bass part come in that gives you the feeling of summertime, elephant ears, and lost love. 'Paddle Forward' is a great little rocker that comes in, slaps you around just right, then gets out in less that 3 minutes. YLT have been known to spread songs out past the 10, 12, 17 minute mark. Hell, even whole sides of vinyl have been reserved for one song(hello, 'Night Falls On Hoboken').
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Z. Mehrbach on January 15, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
"Fade" is the thirteenth album since 1986 for "Yo La Tengo." "Fade" is not a departure but a welcome addition of eclectic, frolicking, and heart warming/breaking songs from Yo La Tengo. I am continually amazed that through all the years they have kept such a high level of mastery. They don't seem to be losing creativity or fervor, as each album adds something new, exciting, and different to their repertoire. Yet, the music maintains all the familiar elements that we've come to love from YLT.

This album is filled with meditative, catchy and hum inducing songs. Part of what made me fall in love with YLT is their ability to make music that defies characterization. My favorite album from them is "I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass." To me that album had all of what I love about YLT. The previous albums like "I can hear.." and "And then nothing..." all seem to have more thematic musical elements as through lines. "I am not afraid..." did the same but was able to take the band to places they hadn't been before, with added strings and instrumentation, while expanding their singing style somewhat. "Fade" falls closer to the styles of their earlier albums with a couple exceptions, including the closing track, "Before We Run," which is one of the highlights of the album. It utilizes horns, synths, and nice textured drum lines. The song really builds through its six minute span, and it entrances you in a way that only YLT can do. I wish there were more songs like this on the album. Some other highlights include:

"Well You Better," a somewhat up-beat song asking the listener to "make up your mind before it's too late." The song has a great catchy organ that plays along with the drums and the ska-like guitar playing from Ira.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Constant Listener on January 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Dear Music Appreciators,

I don't know much of anything about Yo La Tengo. This is the first time I have listened to one of their albums from start to finish. I'm glad I did. Opening track "Ohm" has a swirling, drone-like effect that hypnotized and pulled me through an invisible door into a melodic, free-ranging, indie rock world of a band that knows that they're about and will follow their muse wherever it may lead, and it feels like anyone is welcome to come along.

And then comes the plunky, mellow, hum-dee-dum warmth of "Is That Enough," with its string arrangements, and old school pop chords. The song seems kind of ironically mellow, which is amusing and pleasant, but what makes the song awesome is the wall of fuzzed out hard rock electric guitar soloing going on softly in the background. Hard rock softly in the background - this is the first thing I will remember about Yo La Tengo.

I'll also remember the sense of story on this album and a kind of dreamy, cinematic quality that seemed to pull me along from one track to the next. I don't know what the album is about yet, and I couldn't really quote lyrics effectively yet, but I hear acoustic guitar work that resonates with reflection and feeling, and seems to explore outward, return inward, and move outward again in a new direction.

I'm a sucker for anything pretty, and so the Nick Drakish, "I'll Be Around" is probably my favorite track on the album. The problem with favorites on an accomplished album like this one though, is that they're like magnets in a bowl of paperclips - I try picking one out, and a cluster of other songs wants to come along too.


Constant Listener
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