An album by Yo La Tengo is the definition of a "grower." The vocals, spoken more than sung, and the mellow pace of most of their songs invites you to underestimate the album. Every time I hear a Yo La Tengo album for the first time I feel underwhelmed. While Fade isn't their best album--that would be the masterpiece I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One--it is similar to that album, while missing its standout tracks. The middle tracks are the strongest. "Stupid Things" (below) is Fade's best song, and "I'll Be Around" is its most nostalgic. On January 20th, it's a left-handed compliment to say that this is the best album I've heard all year. But it's true nevertheless.