x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Yo La Tengo shows a new-found intensity on Fade

Approaching their 30th anniversary, the indie three-piece sounds reinvigorated on this new album.

Yo La Tengo
Fade
Matador
***

Just a year shy of their 30th anniversary, the New Jersey mainstays Yo La Tengo might have settled into a groove by now. On Fade, their 13th album, blissed out melodies ride waves of distorted guitars in a way that we've heard many times before - and yet the indie three-piece sounds undeniably reinvigorated.

Perhaps it's the pairing with the producer John McEntire (of the post-rockers Tortoise) that gives the likes of Is That Enough and Paddle Forward a new-found intensity and helps provide the group with their catchiest tune in years, Well You Better.

But, as the title suggests, Fade's second half provides a far more delicate listening experience. Cornelia and Jane and Two Trains are so fragile that they give the impression they might break into pieces if played too many times. While the group shows little sign of slowing down when it comes to invention, the album - filled with yearning for simpler times - shows off an emotional register that could only come from artists with as long a history as theirs.