Fade - Yo La Tengo
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    Fade is rich with details and grows richer the closer one looks.
  2. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    Fade is more than enough, proof positive that these good guys always come out on top.
  3. Jan 14, 2013
    81
    It may not herald another big day coming, but Fade is a thoroughly immersive dusk-to-dawn soundtrack to a dark night's passing.
  4. Jan 8, 2013
    80
    At first, Fade sounds like more of the same--which is no bad thing. Stick with it, and the influence of producer (Tortoise') John McEntire becomes apparent. [Feb 2013, p.81]
  5. Jan 18, 2013
    80
    Fade feels like a definitive and hugely uplifting summary of a cult institution. [Feb 2013, p.88]
  6. Jan 15, 2013
    70
    The band revels in its pop modesty, as beautifully as ever.
  7. 70
    Save perhaps for an unusual dalliance with folk ('I'll Be Around'), little new personal ground is broken, but their songwriting chops and sound design remain cherishable.
  8. Jan 15, 2013
    83
    Yo La Tengo may not be as daringly innovative as it once was, but, in targeting its experiments to a cohesive purpose, the band successfully fulfills Fade's grandiose scope.
  9. Jan 8, 2013
    75
    Fade is another welcome stop on a career that shows no signs of growing old. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.90]
  10. Feb 1, 2013
    60
    As has frequently been the case with later Yo La Tengo albums, the surface appearance of this music is deceptively simple. Delve beneath it, and the artistry that has fuelled the group for three decades gradually reveals itself.
  11. Jan 10, 2013
    80
    There's nothing showy here, nothing flashy, just an understated, immaculately put together collection of happy and sad, yearning and sweet songs.
  12. Jan 15, 2013
    80
    It can feel both more possible, and yet further out of reach.
  13. Jan 10, 2013
    80
    Their 13th studio album could fit anywhere into their post-1990 discography, acting as a guided tour through their styles.
  14. 83
    A set of spare, slow-building dream pop that doesn't blast like a furnace as much as it hums like a hair dryer.
  15. 80
    Fade comes together as one of Yo La Tengo's most refreshingly forward efforts in both sound and matter.
  16. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    It's perhaps not as immediately satisfying as their early work and not nearly as charming as their intimate mid-career efforts, but, after several careful listens, the album feels as powerful and urgent as anything else in their discography.
  17. Jan 15, 2013
    92
    Fade is just 10 distinctive, beautiful songs in 45 minutes meant to show their languid new peers (Real Estate, Beach House, Grizzly Bear, what have you) who's boss. It shouldn't work. It's to that roaring 20-year streak's goodwill that it does.
  18. Jan 10, 2013
    80
    Fade isn't a drastic departure, but when you've polished your eclectic sound as well as Yo La Tengo has, that's not always necessary.
  19. Jan 9, 2013
    80
    In collaborating with McEntire, Yo La Tengo has found a format that accommodates their ever-adventurous musical excursions while beckoning new listeners unaccustomed to 15-minute instrumental soundscapes.
  20. Jan 22, 2013
    85
    Nothing seems to rattle them, and hearing that Zen-like outlook on record is immensely refreshing and inspiring.
  21. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    [Fade's songs] blur and fade like old memories, but leave a meaningful impression.
  22. Jan 8, 2013
    80
    The real revelation about Fade is that it is the most settled album they've recorded in years.
  23. Feb 15, 2013
    82
    The most direct album the band has ever assembled, Fade functions like one of the darker, LOL-averse episodes of comedian Louis C.K.’s eponymous show.
  24. Jan 23, 2013
    80
    Fade is approaching a late career masterwork, their strongest top to bottom effort since their mid-'90s peak.
  25. Jan 16, 2013
    80
    Fade is a sign of perseverance for the group, as the album perfectly details just what is so essential and appealing about the group, and why there will always be a place for these guys in the world of indie rock.
  26. Jan 15, 2013
    70
    Fade isn't a dramatic reinvention, or even necessarily any progression at all, just Yo La Tengo not needing to be anyone else.
  27. Feb 11, 2013
    70
    Fade is a gripping down-tempo treatise on the finer and coarser points of hunkering down. [No. 95, p.61]
  28. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    Together Mr. McEntire and Yo La Tengo have calmed and thickened the band's music.
  29. Jan 15, 2013
    70
    The band's 14th record finds Yo La Tengo settling into a late career renaissance that revisits the timbre of some of their best records (especially the quiet grace of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out) without rehashing them, providing a welcome counterpoint to their slightly louder and more bombastic later efforts.
  30. 80
    With Fade, they’ve come across ten songs that all sound tight and of course, refreshing, against the backdrop of what might be their most consistent album to date.
  31. Jan 18, 2013
    80
    Fade is not an exciting record on its face, but finds itself in the emotional peaks that surface hazily here and there, through colorful production and exquisite songwriting.
  32. Jan 15, 2013
    88
    Fade is classic Yo La Tengo: honest, unpretentious and, above all, catchy.
  33. Jan 8, 2013
    80
    Fade finds YLT at their most wistfully contemplative; a thought only softened by the paradox that this might just be one of their best yet.
  34. Jan 17, 2013
    88
    Tortoise's John McEntire steps in for long-time producer Roger Moutenot, but any of these songs would fit perfectly on the band's last half-dozen albums.
  35. Feb 15, 2013
    80
    Few among us can craft an album as seamlessly fine as Fade. [Feb 2013, p.51]
  36. Jan 22, 2013
    80
    There are new elements here, but they've been brought into a foundation so strong they cannot help but fit in on only on Yo La Tengo's terms.
  37. 85
    Fade is vintage Yo La Tengo, but somehow gorgeously grown-up, with moments which your head will tell you sound normal, as if you have heard them before, but which make the rest of you feel contemplative and still.
  38. 60
    An album that perhaps skips too easily from one style to another for its own good, though there are other sublime moments.
  39. Jan 16, 2013
    70
    Solid and dependable, Fade is another album in a long line of impressive works that, whilst never setting a cultural agenda, is always returned to for satisfying rewards
  40. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    Fade returns to familiar territory so intuitively that it feels less like a return to form than a homecoming.
  41. Jan 17, 2013
    70
    While Fade's sleepy charms can appear slight when compared to the canonical totems in the band's back catalog, it's best to remember that this is a record about serenity, endurance and mortality.
  42. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    Each thoughtful sonic soundscape washes elegantly into the next, toward the long, lush finale.
  43. Jan 8, 2013
    70
    If a sense of staleness had begun to creep in round 2009's 'Popular Songs', Fade pretty much puts them back on track.
  44. Jun 4, 2013
    60
    The results are simple, subtle arrangements that highlight their song craft.
  45. Their quietest and most fragile album is also their most orchestrated.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Feb 1, 2013
    9
    I am very disappointed that I have discovered them so late. They should have been in my music rotation for years. This is a very sophisticated and sublime album that asks you to press the replay button. Their sound is 2013 and it's great to see old hands set the trend for the youth of today. I am now going to go through the catalogue. Full Review »
  2. Feb 4, 2013
    8
    This is YLT like you've never heard them before. It extends beyond the scope of their typical style, seamlessly incorporating a caliber of orchestration that few bands are able to create. The songs are varied yet cohesive, soft yet impactful, indirect yet focused. What surprises me the most is that I never really got into these guys, but this album speaks to me in a different way. Old fans might label Fade as a 'comeback album', but it's going to bring them new fans too.

    If you appreciate indie pop on any level, then this is a must listen. Without a doubt, an early contender for best of 2013.
    Full Review »