Yo La Tengo: Fade

Matador Records

Yo La Tengo's albums typically self-deport into loud or soft. Fade is the latter, hearkening back to 2000's powerful yet dreamy And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, stopping just short of greatness. It's closer to the two post Inside-Out albums, the instrumental The Sounds of the Sounds of Science and hazy Summer Sun, which has a Beach House feel (literally and metaphorically). Several songs toy with samples, including the lively, tribal "Ohm" and the laconic "Stupid Things," but most explore extended, mutating grooves of varying complexity, from the string-laden Spectre-esque pop of "Is That Enough" to the finger-picked, slightly droning beauty of "I'll Be Around." Amid so many drifting circumspective songs, the catchy propulsion of distortion-laden pop songs like "Is That Enough" and "Paddle Forward" stand out. (4 out of 5 stars)