Yo La Tengo have built a reputation as a band that consistently have the backing of critics, yet have still remained outside of mainstream knowledge. With this, there is a hint of irony with any positive review for the band. However, the band has once again come storming back with new album ‘Fade’.
The record opens on an almost euphoric note with ‘Ohm’. The track starts the album in almost celebratory fashion, for a band that have been forced to fight for notoriety for over 25 years. Alongside this the band offer a defiant message to commercial artists as Frontman James McNew sings “Sometimes the bad guys come out on top/sometimes the bad guys lose/we try not to lose our hearts/not to lose our minds”.
‘Is That Enough?’ offers a contrast to what fans will expect from the band. Fans of some of the band’s notable thundering covers as well as their earlier grunge based albums may be confused by this feather-like track. The track is sweet, offering an insight into a relationship that is only just being held together.
Fans that are lost on the early record will be rewarded for their persistence by ‘Well You Better’ offers a throwback to the subtle rhythms of ‘They Shoot We Score’. The track sounds like a summer anthem that could be covering sounding out through festival season this summer.
‘I’ll be Around’ is the albums standout track, which plays on the albums recurring theme of hoping for a former relationship. An interesting dynamic for a band containing a divorced couple and paints a tear-jerking image of everlasting love. It is cleverly executed with a heartfelt and fragile nature.