Yo La Tengo – “Fade” (2013)


Label : Matador Records

Review by Davide Torresan

I have to confess that I have never heard of this band. From the name I was expecting a Spanish group, and definitely not a metal one. Searching around to find some informations, I discovered that Yo La Tengo (the abbreviation is YLT) is an alternative rock band and it’s fairly well known. This American group is founded in 1989 and since 1992 the line-up has consisted of Ira Kaplan (guitar, piano, vocals), Georgia Hubley (drum, piano, vocals) and James McNew (bass, vocals). I was saying alternative rock…well, YLT is considered among the most important representatives of the American alternative rock scene of the 90s. In more than 10 years they have been able to blend many musical influences, from pop music to rock, with violin and sax inserts too.

This one is an unusual instrument in this genre, isn’t it? “Fade” is their 13th album and its sound slightly differs from their previous work, “Popular Songs”. In this one the electric guitar was present in each song, but in “Fade” it is almost gone. You feel strongly this absence. Indeed it seems like something is missing in these songs. There’s a lack of rhythm though the album’s atmospheres are soothing because of the beautiful voices of Ira and Georgia. There are no drum’s accelerations, the classical guitar and bass strings are softly plucked. They call it dream pop.

Only on a couple of occasions the situation is diametrically opposite, and we find it in the Opener “Ohm” and in the conclusive “Before We Run”. The first deceives the listener with its cheerful choirs and even a guitar solo. The second surprises for the huge use of sax which is well mixed with Georgia‘s voice. In conclusion, “Fade” is a little weak album though I’m sure that fans of the band will appreciate it. For the others, even after 15 listenings you won’t like it, so you can definitely look elsewhere.

Rating – 62/100



  1. Ohm
  2. Is That Enough
  3. Well You Better
  4. Paddle Forward
  5. Stupid Things
  6. I’ll Be Around
  7. Cornelia and Jane
  8. Two Trains
  9. The Point of It
  10. Before We Run


Line Up

  • Ira Kaplan – Guitar, Piano & Vocals
  • James McNew – Bass & Vocals
  • Georgia Hubley – Drums, Piano & Vocals


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