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Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Echo Canyon, New York City. In the Fishtank 9 Meet Jeremy.
Jeremy likes Sonic Youth. His favorite album by the Youth is Goodbye 20th Century , their self-released cover album His favorite album by the Youth is Goodbye 20th Century , their self-released cover album of avant-garde works by various modern classical composers. Meet Erica. Erica likes Sonic Youth. Her favorite album by the Youth is Dirty , the band's most direct flirtation with mainstream rock.
Oversimplified personifications? Sure, but chances are, if you're a fan of the twenty-year-old Sonic Youth franchise, you probably exist at some point on a continuum between my little creations above. The band itself has been running a zig-zag pattern on the same scale its entire existence, constantly oscillating between their art-noise laboratory and major-label rock band personae while covering all points in between.
As a result, you don't see the Jeremies and Ericas of the world coming together over a single Sonic Youth record too often-- if one is jammin', the other's likely scoffin' or wincin'. For a start there's the sheer originality of the sound; instantly recognisable from the very first second. These guitars sound like America; lyrical, tuneful, gnarled and ugly, subway trains and wrecked cars. Wide open spaces. On this album the twist is that the mood is almost a mellow one. There's plenty of extreme sonic attack of course, "Karen Revisited" features an extraordinary moment which sounds like a jet engine colliding with half a dozen fax machines.
But the opening track "The Empty Page" sets the tone: reflective, melodic, mature. Throughout, the feedback and noise seem integrated, and oddly beautiful. And for once, both the singing and the lyrics seem exactly right.
There's variety enough: as well as long workouts like "Rain On Tin", there's the short sharp punk rock from another galaxy of "Plastic Sun". Newest member Jim O'Rourke, on bass guitar,seems to have given them a new lease of life: his clean production is another plus.
On previous records Sonic Youth were sometimes self indulgent and often patchy.
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