Friday, January 11, 2013

Yo La Tengo...first big record of the year

I'm liking Fade a good bit, maybe you can tell from my Dusted review, up today.

Fade is Yo La Tengo’s 13th album, mostly in line with Popular Songs’s relative softness and accessibility. There’s a certain amount of sporadic, muted guitar mayhem, a la I Am Not Afraid Of You’s “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind,” but they bury it under fuzz and hiss, like people who have learned to cough into their elbows during flu season. They favor repetitive grooves that are hard at the core but nebulous around the edges, snare and maracas popping out of an electrically-charged stew of tones and overtones. I like particularly the way that “Ohm”’s late blooming, fairly aggressive guitar solo cuts through and then is subsumed by the fuzz and static, a screaming statement muted to a murmur. Later, “Paddle Forward” shushes guitar feedback, so that you hear the crackle but not the roar, and so that barely exhaled harmonies from Hubley and Kaplan can float over top without straining.


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