Yo La Tengo – ‘Fade’

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Yo La Tengo
Fade
Matador Records

The dominant mood of Fade is melancholy. Its opening track “Ohm” begins with the lyric “Sometimes the bad guys come out on top / Sometimes the good guys lose.” This almost childish conception of misfortune fronts a very real and mature story of loss, the dull pain of which may best be compared to that inflicted by slanting beams of a long Sunday afternoon. This sensation is reflected both in the album’s fading sonic energy and intensifying lyric agony. “Two Trains,” Fade’s downtempo anticlimax, best captures this inverse relationship when it asks “Before the fall / Before the flood / After the sinking feeling and the final cut / What are you going to do?” —Max Ashton

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