"There’s plenty of life in this old indie dog yet."
John McEntire (of Tortoise fame) takes the production helm, and while it all sounds resoundingly pleasant he basically seems happy to leave them to their own devices. Some of Yo La Tengo's past long-players have been sprawling and eclectic, but Fade finds them at their most even and succinct, their shortest effort in over 20 years. It's still chock full of great fare – shuffling opener Ohm, the divine Stupid Things, the charming acoustic-based I'll Be Around and rousing closer Before We Run will all make fine additions to future setlists – but Fade seems best listened to in its entirety, the songs all intrinsically linked both sonically and thematically. It's an album to let wash over you and luxuriate in rather than pick apart and analyse its components; a rare commodity in this age of reduced attention spans.
The world of Yo La Tengo may have long ago been consigned to the realm of 'music by music geeks for music geeks', but judging by the continued quality of Fade there's plenty of life in this old indie dog yet.