Fade cover courtesy of: Matador Records
Fade cover courtesy of: Matador Records

By YARA BEYDOUN, Staff Columnist 

Artist: Yo La Tengo
Album: Fade
Release: January 15, 2013

Yo La Tengo is an American indie rock band, which originally comprised of the married couple Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley who later on joined forces with James McNew. Besides indie rock, the band has been labeled as having various rock styles such as experimental rock, noise pop, alternative rock and dream pop. On their 13th LP, Fade, the group takes a much softer route as the sounds are sweet, serene and sometimes a bit psychedelic.

This LP, about staying the course despite the hardship, opens with the vibrant track “Ohm.” With diffusion in the background, lots of strings are played (as in most of this LP) while Georgia plays on her drums. The trio harmonize (pretty fitting for the track name eh?) as they sing, “Sometimes the bad guys come out on top/ Sometimes the good guys lose/ We try not to lose our hearts.”

Ira sings very softly throughout the rest of the LP; he almost whispers. It’s quite soothing however can, at times, become quite restless for the listener.

In the track “Cornelia and Jane,” Georgia takes lead vocals—and executes beautifully. The song is about watching a loved one in pain, yet not being able to help, “I hear them whispering, they analyze/ But no one knows what’s lost in your eyes.” This song is most likely about how Georgia felt during a recent health scare that landed Ira in the hospital.

Overall, Fade is quite beautiful. Yo La Tengo proves to be at the head of the pack in consistently releasing great LPs as they change and manipulate their sound to stay fresh. Fans who are familiar with their harder sounds will be pleased to hear a softer side.

Key tracks: “Ohm,” “Is That Enough,” “Well You Better,” “Cornelia and Jane.” “Before We Run.”

Track Review

Artist: David Bowie
Single: Where Are We Now

After nearly a decade, the legend released a new single off of his latest album, The Next Day, which is said to be released in March. The track, “Where Are We Now?” is a somber tune set in Berlin. In the middle of the city, Bowie reflects on the past as he refers to himself as “a man lost in time.”

But as the piano gets louder, Bowie sings of hope as he basks in the sun. Bowie fans must approach this tune with an understanding that Bowie is simply maturing in his sound. The man who connected with the outcasts is still there, but is only a bit older.