WBEZ | Yo La Tengo album review http://www.wbez.org/tags/yo-la-tengo-album-review Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Yo La Tengo’s enduring intimacy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-01/yo-la-tengo%E2%80%99s-enduring-intimacy-105209 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20Yo%20La%20photo.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p>The profound difference between rock music that&rsquo;s intimate and sounds that simply are quiet is that the former grows with every listen, while the latter all too easily slips into mere background music.</p><p>Long-running Hoboken, N.J.-based indie-rock heroes Yo La Tengo have been growing increasingly hushed over the last few releases, at least in comparison to ferocious mid-&rsquo;90s guitar-skronk classics such as <em>Painful </em>and <em>Electr-O-Pura. </em>While still impossible to ignore, the thrill was beginning to&hellip; well, fade. But on album number 13, the more muted trio ups the level of intimacy, as well as adding unexpected touches such as strings, horns and acoustic guitars.</p><p>The result is that <em>Fade </em>is the band&rsquo;s strongest album in the new millennium, and as well as its best in this more genteel mode since 1990&rsquo;s still-beguiling acoustic covers effort, <em>Fakebook.</em></p><p>This isn&rsquo;t to say that the band has entirely abandoned that beloved Velvet Underground/Can six-strong drone and hypnotic jam. In fact, both the opening &ldquo;Ohm&rdquo; and the closing &ldquo;Before We Run&rdquo; are epics of the type. But in turning from veteran producer Roger Moutenot (who&rsquo;s been at the helm since 1993) to Chicagoan John McEntire, the group for the most part tried to &ldquo;cut down on some of the sprawl,&rdquo; as guitarist-vocalist Ira Kaplan put it. That put the focus on one the group&rsquo;s most endearing and enduring strengths: The interplay between Kaplan and his wife, drummer-vocalist Georgia Hubley, who now have lived out their entire three-decade relationship, with all of the inherent peaks and valleys, on tape and on stage.</p><p>Though never explicit in, say, a Richard and Linda Thompson way, that kind of connection, experience and wisdom comes through in all of the album&rsquo;s finest moments, from the acoustic tunes &ldquo;I&rsquo;ll Be Around&rdquo; and &ldquo;Cornelia and Jane&rdquo; to the more expansive &ldquo;Stupid Things&rdquo; and the aforementioned &ldquo;Ohm&rdquo; and &ldquo;Before We Run.&rdquo; And thanks to that, there&rsquo;s reason to believe Yo La Tengo may be good for 13 more.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20Yo%20La%20Cover.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p><strong>Yo La Tengo, <em>Fade </em>(Matador Records)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 3.5 stars.</strong></p></p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 07:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-01/yo-la-tengo%E2%80%99s-enduring-intimacy-105209