Remember when Yo La Tengo played the Wilma, providing the live soundtrack to Jean Painlevé's underwater science films? That rocked. But forget about it, because that's not what you'll get on the group's newest album. It's quiet time, and you're going to want to hear this.
Fade is a washed-out update to the band's best album, I Can Hear The Hearts Beating as One, already 15 years old. Here's the same shoegazing trio putting out indie rock like it never happened, but with maturity in the lyrics and nuance in the structures. That means fewer noisy and percussive experiments, and, sorry, no epic solos at the end. Ira Kaplan and wife Georgia Hubley still sing like they're daydreaming, but in this case they use their voices like instruments rather than try to lead what has essentially become a chamber pop band.
Some surprises emerge. "Stupid Things" takes a hint from Bon Iver and re-reintroduces cheesy '80s pop guitars with class, while the acoustic "I'll Be Around" is a nice break from the electrics. Fade finishes on "Before We Run," a satisfying last song that feels like the soundtrack to flying over all your favorite places, real and imagined.