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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/ole-994-yo-la-tengo-fade-1358265724.jpg Fade

Yo La Tengo

Fade

Matador
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5 0
January 15, 2013

"Sometimes the good guys lose/We try not to lose our hearts" begins the 13th LP by the sublimely hangdog indie-rock forebears. On an album about staying the course as time passes and things fall apart, producer John McEntire hones arrangements that are more layered than usual. Guitar noise dazzles; "Is That Enough" and "Before We Run" even have strings. But the standouts are lean: The Nick Drake-ish "I'll Be Around" is little more than Ira Kaplan's whispery vocals and fingerpicked acoustic guitar, and in the Sandy Denny-ish "Cornelia and Jane," Georgia Hubley sets whispery vocals over muted brass. The band revels in its pop modesty, as beautifully as ever.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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