Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Yo La Tengo: Fade [Matador, 2013]
Their quietest and most fragile album is also their most orchestrated--horns! strings! live! (on four songs total). Even so, the songwriting is so diffident it tempts us to fill in the blanks by concluding that what we've long been told is all there is to know. This music's ground is a warm, sweet, committed relationship troubled by withdrawal issues each partner enacts in his or her own way--silence met with impassivity, say. But on their quiestest album, for the first time, mortality has crept through the door. Conclusion: "Find the comfort in our life/Before it disappears." (Hence the orchestrations?) A-