Yo La Tengo – “Fade”
7.5 out of 10
By Hayden Prescott Corwin ’15
Eerie organs fade seamlessly under the drums and turn into an elegantly shimming guitar riff.
Fuzz distorts the background as a voice appears through the stream of musical notes floating around the listener’s mind and brings Yo La Tengo’s years of experience to the forefront.
Yo La Tengo is an alternative independent rock group that formed in 1984 and is continuing their career still today. The three current members of the band have been in the group since 1991.
The band’s most recent album “Fade” released Jan. 14 and appears to be one of the softest sounding records they have released similar to the sounds of the early Velvet Underground.
“Fade” contains tracks such as “I’ll Be Around” that exemplifies the light sound of the album.
“I’ll Be Around” begins with an acoustic guitar riff with soft vocals. Near the end of the song a softly distorted synthesizer that has been lazily playing in the background comes through stronger to add a slight build. The song then decrescendos in volume and ends in a quiet fade.
This album has a washing effect that is somehow cohesive and beautiful much like their 2003 release of “Summer Sun.”
One might listen to this release and wonder whether or not it is beautiful or boring. I say a band that has the ability to mix the frustration and confusion of distortion and the clarity and softness of clean tones at the same moment, like in “Is That Enough,” is more beautiful than it is boring.
Any listener that picks up this album could have mixed reviews. An argument could be made that the vocals are weak or that there aren’t enough rock songs. However, a fan of Yo La Tengo’s other works will enjoy “Fade.”