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Approval 92%

Soundoffs 247
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Last Active 01-14-19 6:10 pm
Joined 11-04-15

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12.11.18 Pie Charts 201811.04.18 Let Me Rec You Something III | The Bad
05.14.18 Glenn Branca Discography Run04.23.18 Sandwich Goes Into Debt | K Records Gra
01.25.18 The Fall Discography Run11.04.17 Let Me Rec You Something II | The Rec-o
09.26.17 Sonic Youth Discography Run 03.02.17 Albums With Fewer Than 15 Ratings II |
11.04.16 Let Me Rec You Something10.31.16 Top 10 | Bull of Heaven's Numerical Alb
10.25.16 Albums With Fewer Than 15 Ratings10.06.16 Let's Draw!

Sonic Youth Discography Run

Blah blah blah, Sonic Youth is the best band ever.
1Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth

March 1982 | Neutral | 4.4 | ↑

1. The Burning Spear (4.5/5)
2. I Dream I Dreamed (5/5) πŸ‘
3. She Is Not Alone (4/5) πŸ‘Ž
4. I Don't Want To Push It (4/5)
5. The Good And The Bad (4.5/5)

The one that started it all. And what a start. I remember not being to enthralled by this when I first listened to it, but now it's a strong contender for one of my favorite Sonic Youth albums. These newest listens have bumped it up to a 4.5 in my ratings (previously was a 4.0). "I Dream I Dreamed" is just excellent, classic Sonic Youth. Weakest was "She Is Not Alone," but not by that much as you can see. Comforting to know we're starting off on a high note!
2Sonic Youth
Confusion Is Sex

April 1983 | Neutral | 4.5 | β†’

1. (She's In A) Bad Mood (5/5)
2. Protect Me You (4.5/5)
3. Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog (4/5) πŸ‘Ž
4. Shaking Hell (4/5)
5. Inhuman (4.5/5)
6. The World Looks Red (5/5) πŸ‘
7. Confusion Is Next (4.5/5)
8. Making The Nature Scene (4.5/5)
9. Lee Is Free (4.5/5)

I remember having an old tape of Confusion Is Sex/Kill Yr Idols someone copied for me. I don't have it anymore, but I have fond memories of wearing my shit over-ear headphones on the bus and listening to this. And even after all this time, it holds up. I know me gushing is going to get old rather quick, but that's just what this album does to me. The short "The World Looks Red" definitely remains a standout to me, but "(She's In A) Bad Mood" is a very close second. The weakest link has to be "Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog." I mean, I like Stooges as much as anyone, but when surrounded by such amazing tracks, a cover is bound to be weaker. Album's pure sex regardless.
3Sonic Youth
Kill Yr Idols

October 1983 | Zensor | 4.4 | β†’

1. Protect Me You (4.5/5)
2. Shaking Hell (4/5)
3. Shaking Hell - Live (4/5) πŸ‘Ž
4. Kill Yr. Idols (5/5) πŸ‘
5. Brother James (4.5/5)
6. Early American (4.5/5)

It's strange, I remember more of Kill Yr Idols than Confusion is Sex because the title track always came on right when my stop came up. Obviously it's because I was more attentive as I was getting up to leave, but it's strange moreso because I never thought much of this EP at the time. But, I guess age really does a number on you, cause I love this damn thing. "Early American" and "Brother James" used to be my favorites off this, but the title track just became a 5/5 for me. Even despite having 2 versions of Shaking Hell (sorry live version, someone had to take the bullet), this little number stands on its own.
4Sonic Youth
Sonic Death

1984 | Ecstatic Peace! | 4.8 | ↑

1. Side A (5/5) πŸ‘
2. Side B (4.5/5) πŸ‘Ž

Don't look at me like that. The original cassette didn't have a tracklist, so it makes sense to just have "Side A" and "Side B." Now that I've exempted myself, what a knockout of a live album Sonic Death is. More of a compilation of Sonic Youth's '81-'83 work that was on Thurston's own label. Rating something like this track-by-track doesn't really sit right, cause there's so much on each side that just blows me away. Just an onslaught from start to end. While there are a few moments on "Side B" that made me give it a lower score, just know that this remains one of the best things the band's ever recorded. Looks like I have a new 5 to tout.
5Sonic Youth
Bad Moon Rising

March 1985 | Homestead | 4.9 | β†’

1. Intro (5/5)
2. Brave Men Run (In My Family) (5/5)
3. Society Is A Hole (5/5)
4. I Love Her All The Time (5/5)
5. Ghost Bitch (4.5/5)
6. I'm Insane (5/5)
7. Justice Is Might (4.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
8. Death Valley '69 (5/5) πŸ‘

I was late to the Bad Moon Rising train, since I didn't even know it existed for a good long while. But that all changed a few years ago when I first really started to dig into Sonic Youth's discography. And boy let me tell you, this is the album that careers are made from. When the band made the jump to new labels (Homestead), they honed in on their sound and perfected it. I don't know why you'd just listen to one song off this, but the track to listen to is "Death Valley '69," featuring Lydia Lunch. You know you're album is good when the weakest track is "Justice Is Might," a song that's better than many bands' entire discographies. So far, this remains my favorite release. But who knows... maybe that could change.
6Sonic Youth

May 1986 | SST | 4.0 | ↓

1. Tom Violence (4.5/5)
2. Shadow Of A Doubt (4/5)
3. Star Power (4/5)
4. In The Kingdom # 19 (4.5/5) πŸ‘
5. Green Light (3.5/5)
6. Death To Our Friends (4/5)
7. Secret Girl (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
8. Marilyn Moore (4/5)
9. Expressway To Yr. Skull (4/5)

So, how do you follow-up an album like Bad Moon Rising? Short answer: You don't. While EVOL is definitely cut from the same cloth as the band's earlier work, it doesn't feel as tightly-knit. The result is an album that feels very loose and confident, while not exactly having the gusto to back it up (characteristics that describe many future Sonic Youth albums). However, there is a lot to like about that looseness. "In The Kingdom # 19" is a wonderful track and comes highly-recommended. The weakest was "Secret Girl." While a good song, its very sparse instrumentation feels out of place. Overall, not a bad record by any means; just a bit different. Thoroughly enjoyable.
7Sonic Youth

June 1987 | SST | 4.0 | ↓

1. Schizophrenia (4/5)
2. (I Got a) Catholic Block (4.5/5)
3. Beauty Lies in the Eye (4/5)
4. Stereo Sanctity (4.5/5) πŸ‘
5. Pipeline / Kill Time (4.5/5)
6. Tuff Gnarl (4/5)
7. Pacific Coast Highway (4/5)
8. Hot Wire My Heart (3/5) πŸ‘Ž
9. Kotton Krown (3.5/5)
10. White Cross (4/5)

Not a band to stay in one place for very long, Sonic Youth took a very different approach on Sister. There's a more traditional rock feel to this one, more so than any release prior. In some respects, this is a welcome change. I quite like "Stereo Sanctity" and the following "Pipeline / Kill Time." However, this is the first time Sonic Youth has dipped into mediocre territory. Let's just say that "Hot Wire My Heart" is not the track I remember liking as much as I did so long ago. The highlights on this do outshine parts of EVOL, if only by a hair. Another really good release.
8Sonic Youth

January 1988 | SST | 3.2 | πŸ†•

1. Master-Dik (2.5/5)
2. Beat On The Brat (2.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
3. Under The Influence Of The Jesus & Mary Chain/Ticket To Ride/Master-Dik/Introducing The Stars (3/5)
4. Ringo/He's On Fire/Florida Oil Drums (3.5/5)
5. Chinese Jam (3/5)
6. Vibrato/Guitar Lick/Funky Fresh (4/5)
7. Our Backyard (4/5) πŸ‘
8. Traffick

I was going to skip this originally, but I thought "If I'm doing albums outside the Sonic Youth canon, I might as well do this." Well I'm glad I did, because this is hilarious. Someone compared this to Faust's Faust Tapes, but Faust didn't namedrop Sonny Sharrock and Sun Ra. As the album went on, I found myself enjoying it more (mainly "Our Backyard"). But that Ramones cover is still a Ramones cover (i.e. unneeded). I implore you to read the rant the band put on the inner sleeve because it sounds eerily like me complaining:
9Ciccone Youth
The Whitey Album

March 1988 | Enigma | 3.6 | ↓

1. Needle-Gun (4.5/5)
2. (silence)
3. G-Force (4.5/5) πŸ‘
4. Platoon II (4/5)
5. MacBeth (4/5)
6. Me & Jill/Hendrix Cosby (4/5)
7. Burnin' Up (4/5)
8. Hi! Everybody (4.5/5)
9. Children Of Satan/Third Fig (4/5)
10. Two Cool Rock Chicks Listening To Neu (3.5/5)
11. Addicted To Love (3/5)
12. Moby-Dik (3/5)
13. March Of The Ciccone Robots (4/5)
14. Making The Nature Scene (2/5) πŸ‘Ž
15. Tuff Titty Rap (2.5/5)
16. Into The Groovey (3/5)

This description's gotta be short, so:
Best track: "G-Force"
Weakest track: "Making The Nature Scene"

Alright, this is the Master-Dik EP strung out to feature length and given a face-lift. Some of their most creative work is on here, but you can skip their awful re-imagining of "Making The Nature Scene." (Bleh.) Besides that, this is definitely worth your time. Who doesn't want to hear Sonic Youth cover Madonna? Also, my rating matches the site's average wow!

Edit: Nevermind, my rating lowered it to a 3.5. ☹
10Sonic Youth
Daydream Nation

October 1988 | Enigma | 4.3 | β†’

1. Teen Age Riot (4/5)
2. Silver Rocket (4/5)
3. The Sprawl (4/5)
4. 'Cross The Breeze (4.5/5)
5. Eric's Trip (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
6. Total Trash (4/5)
7. Hey Joni (5/5)
8. Providence (4/5)
9. Candle (4/5)
10. Rain King (4.5/5)
11. Kissability (5/5)
12. Trilogy (5/5) πŸ‘

If my re-listen of Daydream Nation has reminded me of anything, it's why it's so highly revered. Even separated from its original context, the album just feels like the proper conclusion to the 80s underground and a lead-in to the 90s mainstream. Daydream Nation combines the energy of their earlier work with the more palatable sound they dabbled in on their past few releases. "Trilogy" is on-par with their greatest and has definitely won a place as one of my favorite Sonic Youth songs ever. The weakest is "Eric's Trip;" despite getting a band named after it, it just didn't hit me as hard as the rest of the album. Still, Daydream Nation remains one of the band's defining documents.
11Sonic Youth

June 1990 | DGC | 3.4 | ↓

1. Dirty Boots (3.5/5)
2. Tunic (Song For Karen) (3.5/5)
3. Mary-Christ (2.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
4. Kool Thing (3/5)
5. Mote (4.5/5) πŸ‘
6. My Friend Goo (2.5/5)
7. Disappearer (4/5)
8. Mildred Pierce (3.5/5)
9. Cinderella's Big Score (4/5)
10. Scooter + Jinx (3/5)
11. Titanium Expose (3.5/5)

Ah, the jump to DGC. I can still hear the cries of "SELLOUTS!" like they were only yesterday. Well, grab me a megaphone, cause I'm not enjoying this as much as I used to. While not terrible by any stretch, Goo just doesn't have the soul of a Daydream Nation or even a Sister. Ranaldo's "Mote" remains a gem even after all this time, but other than that and a few others, I'm underwhelmed. "Mary-Christ" just doesn't hold a candle (heh) to anything on their previous releases. Overall, a pretty good major label debut, but I hope their next few releases with DGC fair better than this one did with me.
12Sonic Youth
Hold That Tiger

1991 | Goofin' | 4.0 | πŸ†•

1. Intro
2. Schizophrenia (4/5)
3. Tom Violence (4/5)
4. White Cross (3.5/5)
5. Kotton Krown (4/5)
6. Stereo Sanctity (4.5/5)
7. Brother James (4.5/5)
8. Pipeline/Kill Time (5/5) πŸ‘
9. Catholic Block (4.5/5)
10. Tuff Gnarl (4/5)
11. Death Valley '69 (4.5/5)
12. Beauty Lies In The Eye (4/5)
13. Expressway To Yr. Skull (4/5)
14. Pacific Coast Highway (5/5)
15. Loudmouth (3.5/5)
16. I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You (3/5)
17. Today Yr. Love, Tomorrow The World (3/5)
18. Beat On The Brat (2.5/5) πŸ‘Ž

This was recorded in 1987, so there's a lot of Sister and EVOL tracks, but hot damn. Here's a case where many of the live versions are better than the studio ones. Not by much, but enough to the point it's noticeable (even a few turned-5/5s). Best was "Pipeline/Kill Time," which was a big shock to me (especially since "Death Valley '69" is on this). Then 4 Ramones covers happen (weakest being "Beat On The Brat" again). Stop before those and it's a damn good time.
13Sonic Youth

July 1992 | DGC | 3.3 | β†’

1. 100% (2.5/5)
2. Swimsuit Issue (4/5)
3. Theresa's Sound-World (4/5) πŸ‘
4. Drunken Butterfly (3/5)
5. Shoot (2/5) πŸ‘Ž
6. Wish Fulfillment (2.5/5)
7. Sugar Kane (3.5/5)
8. Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit (3.5/5)
9. Youth Against Fascism (2/5)
10. Nic Fit (4/5)
11. On the Strip (4/5)
12. Chapel Hill (3.5/5)
13. JC (3.5/5)
14. Purr (3.5/5)
15. Creme Brulee (3.5/5)

I'd like to preface this by saying that its been a few years since I listened to this and I was going into this album with an open mind. That said, this didn't really blow me away. Much like Goo, Dirty feels content with making a solid alternative rock album, and just like Goo, Dirty does achieve that. "Theresa's Sound-World" is a joy to listen to just as it always was. However, the weak points here are some of the band's lowest so far, most notably the soporific "Shoot." Enjoyable as a whole, but the downward trend in ratings (excluding Hold Your Tiger) does not bode well.
14Sonic Youth
TV Shit

March 1994 | Ecstatic Peace! | 4.1 | β†’

1. No.II (Part 1) (4/5)
2. No.II (Part 2) (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
3. No.II (Part 3) (4.5/5)
4. No.II (Part 4) (4.5/5) πŸ‘

A live Sonic Youth EP with Yamatsuka Eye of Boredoms fame. I like Boredoms. I like Sonic Youth. Alright. While relatively short, TV Shit is an unpolished mess of noise, screaming, and country music that I'm not sure I'm comfortable with. But this way too much fun. "No.II (Part 4)" just grabs you by the ears and rips them off your head. And while the weird country section of "No.II (Part 2)" does confuse me, I still enjoyed it. I think it's pretty obvious why the band decided to release this on their own label (Ecstatic Peace!) instead of going through DGC, cause I don't think this would have gone over so well with the suits there. Well, it sure won me over. Now if only the same enthusiasm that went into TV Shit made it onto Sonic Youth's major label work; we'd have a knockout for sure then. As it stands, this is a damn fine EP.
15Sonic Youth
Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star

May 1994 | DGC | 3.5 | ↓

1. Winner's Blues (3.5/5)
2. Bull in the Heather (4/5)
3. Starfield Road (4/5)
4. Skink (3.5/5)
5. Screaming Skull (3/5)
6. Self-Obsessed and Sexxee (4/5)
7. Bone (3.5/5)
8. Androgynous Mind (4/5)
9. Quest for the Cup (3/5)
10. Waist (2.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
11. Doctor's Orders (3.5/5)
12. Tokyo Eye (3/5)
13. In the Mind of the Bourgeois Reader (4/5)
14. Sweet Shine (4/5) πŸ‘

Right out of nowhere, here comes one of Sonic Youth's strangest major label releases. Trading in their Nirvana light-up sneakers for Pavement running shoes, Experimental Jet Set definitely feels like Sonic Youth trying on a new look. But does it fit them? Sort of... With its strong focus on songcraft, the band takes a more reserved tone here than on any album previous. The best track is the closer "Sweet Shine" and "Waist" is definitely the weakest. While not a rousing success by any stretch, Experimental Jet Set does provide the strongest set of songs Sonic Youth put out on DGC thus far.
16Sonic Youth
Made In USA

February 1995 | Rhino | 4.0 | ↑

1. Mackin' For Doober (3.5/5)
2. Full Chrome Logic (4/5)
3. Secret Girl (3.5/5)
4. Cork Mountain Incident (3.5/5)
5. Moustache Riders (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
6. Tuck N Dar (4/5)
7. Moon In The Bathroom (4.5/5)
8. Thought Bubbles (4/5)
9. Rim Thrusters (4/5)
10. Lincoln's Gout (4.5/5)
11. Coughing Up Tweed (4/5)
12. Pre-Poured Wood (4/5)
13. Hairpiece Lullaby 1 & 2 (4/5)
14. Pocketful Of Sen-Sen (3.5/5)
15. Smoke Blisters 1 & 2 (5/5) πŸ‘
16. The Velvet Plug (4/5)
17. Giggles (4/5)
18. Tulip Fire 2 (4/5)
19. The Dynamics Of Bulbing (3.5/5)
20. Smoke Blisters 3 & 4 (4.5/5)
21. O.J.'s Glove Or What? (4/5)
22. Webb Of Mudd 1, 2 & 3 (4.5/5)
23. Bachelors In Fur! (3.5/5)

I don't think I gave this its due diligence when I first listen to it, cause I enjoyed this. Made mainly of short snippets of songs, Made In USA is a soundtrack from 1986 and the perfect companion to EVOL. Best was the beautiful "Smoke Blisters 1 & 2" and the weakest was "Moustache Riders."
17Sonic Youth
Washing Machine

September 1995 | DGC | 4.1 | ↑

1. Becuz (4.5/5)
2. Junkie's Promise (3.5/5)
3. Saucer-Like (4/5)
4. Washing Machine (4/5)
5. Unwind (4/5)
6. Little Trouble Girl (4.5/5)
7. No Queen Blues (4/5)
8. Panty Lies (3.5/5)
9. Untitled (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
10. Skip Tracer (5/5) πŸ‘
11. The Diamond Sea (4.5/5)

Wow. Alright, just as a heads-up. I had this at a 3.5 originally, so my rating for this has jumped up quite a fair bit. The longer songs do Washing Machine all the favors in the world. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for long-form songs. And Kim on strictly guitar duty fits so well its almost frightening. For the first time in a long time, Sonic Youth sound comfortable with their prowess, yet collected enough not to flaunt it needlessly. "Skip Tracer" is just a fantastic tune. Weakest was "Untitled" (better known as "Becuz Coda"), because well... it's a coda. I'm surprised at how much this grew on me, so I'll just end it here. Color me impressed.
18Sonic Youth
SYR1: Anagrama

May 1997 | Sonic Youth Recordings | 4.1 | πŸ†•

1. Anagrama (4.5/5) πŸ‘
2. Improvisation Ajoutee (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
3. Tremens (4/5)
4. Mieux: De Corrosion (4.5/5)

I listened for the first time a few days ago, but it wasn't really that close of a listen. Now that this list series is a thing, I have a reason to give this a good, hard listen. Glad I did, cause I really loved this. I haven't listened to anything from the SYR series following this release, so this is getting me excited for what's to come. The titular "Anagrama" just has this beautiful sequential kind of flow that I just adore. "Improvisation Ajoutee" is good, but has the trouble of being way too short. But when that's the only complaint I have about an EP, then it's just me being picky. This is definitely one not to overlook.
19Sonic Youth
SYR2: Slaapkamers Met Slagroom

September 1997 | Sonic Youth Recordings | 4.5 | πŸ†•

1. Slaapkamers Met Slagroom (5/5) πŸ‘
2. Stil (4.5/5)
3. Herinneringen (4/5) πŸ‘Ž

So this is what I was missing all these years. Much like its predecessor, SYR2 is an EP that does everything right. This time however, it's all killer no filler. "Slaapkamers Met Slagroom" is just a monolith towering above you, yet it goes down smoothly; one of my new favorite tracks for sure. "Herinneringen" is so close to being a 4.5, it's criminal that I'm calling it the "weakest" anything. And to think I thought Sonic Youth lost their edge. Here's to proving me dead wrong, Sonic Youth. Keep the hits coming.
20Sonic Youth
SYR3: Invito Al Cielo

February 1998 | Sonic Youth Recordings | 3.8 | πŸ†•

1. Invito Al Cielo (4/5)
2. Hungaro Vivo (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
3. Radio Amatoroj (4/5) πŸ‘

"Godspeed You! Sonic Youth" is officially what I'm gonna call this. "SYR3" is a logical follow-up to "SYR2," in that it takes what made that album so good and tries to go even further with it. However, the end result is a less immediate listening experience. Clocking in at over 55 minutes long, "SYR3" isn't playing around. While I did enjoy "Radio Amatoroj," it does drag on a bit in certain sections. "Hungaro Vivo" is good as well, but nothing spectacular. As far as first listens go, this was still excellent. Future listens will definitely be required at some point.

Just as a side note: Jim O'Rourke, who would later become a member of Sonic Youth for a short period, is on this. That's pretty cool.
21Sonic Youth
A Thousand Leaves

May 1998 | DGC | 3.8 | β†’

1. Contre Le Sexisme (3.5/5)
2. Sunday (4/5)
3. Female Mechanic Now on Duty (4.5/5)
4. Wildflower Soul (4/5)
5. Hoarfrost (3.5/5)
6. French Tickler (3.5/5)
7. Hits of Sunshine (for Allen Ginsberg) (3/5) πŸ‘Ž
8. Karen Koltrane (4/5)
9. The Ineffable Me (4.5/5) πŸ‘
10. Snare, Girl (3.5/5)
11. Heather Angel (4/5)

I don't remember a lot about my first listen of A Thousand Leaves, but I do remember thinking it was the best Sonic Youth album for a very short time. Returning to this years later, I think I was definitely onto something. While I don't think it's Sonic Youth's best album, it has a certain feel you just didn't get from Sonic Youth at the time. It's relaxed, almost calming in places (for a Sonic Youth album, that is). "The Ineffable Me" is just "Slaapkamers Met Slagroom" condensed, so of course that's my pick for best. "Hits of Sunshine" is the weakest, a prime example of being too relaxed. A solid record on par with the band's more revered work.
22Sonic Youth
SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century

November 1999 | Sonic Youth Records | 3.1 | πŸ†•

1. Edges (4/5)
2. Six (3rd Take) (2.5/5)
3. Six for New Time (For Sonic Youth) (4/5)
4. +- (4/5)
5. Voice Piece for Soprano
6. Pendulum Music (2/5)
7. Having Never Written a Note for Percussion (4.5/5) πŸ‘
8. Six (4th Take) (3/5)
9. Burdocks (3.5/5)
10. Four6 (4/5)
11. Piano Piece #13 (Carpenter's Piece) (For Nam June Paik) (1.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
12. Piece Enfantine (2/5)
13. Treatise (Page 183) (2.5/5)

I know enough about the SYR series to know that SYR4 is by far the most polarizing of them all. And today I finally discovered why. One highlight was "Having Never Written a Note for Percussion," which I didn't expect to like as much as I did. Worst (not weakest, WORST) was "Piano Piece #13." I can handle a lot of things, but I just couldn't handle that. I applaud Sonic Youth for what they were trying to do here, but I don't really know much modern classical so this flew over my head. Interesting at the very least, good at its best.
23Sonic Youth
NYC Ghosts & Flowers

May 2000 | Geffen | 4.9 | β†’

1. Free City Rhymes (5/5)
2. Renegade Princess (5/5)
3. Nevermind (What Was It Anyway?) (5/5)
4. Small Flowers Crack Concrete (5/5) πŸ‘
5. Side2Side (4.5/5)
6. StreamXSonik Subway (5/5)
7. NYC Ghosts & Flowers (5/5)
8. Lightnin' (4.5/5) πŸ‘Ž

Oh boy.

To explain my adoration for NYC Ghosts & Flowers would be an impossible task, but I'll try my best. NYC Ghosts & Flowers finds the band going back to their classic instruments after their gear was stolen and the band tries a different style of vocals. The result is one of the most rewarding albums they've ever made. One of the many highlights here was "Small Flowers Crack Concrete." The weakest was "Lightnin'," but not by very much. I know most people don't like this album. Hell, I didn't like this album when I first heard it either. But if you do decide to give this a re-listen like I did, you'll find one of Sonic Youth's most exciting outings. If there's any album that deserves a second chance, it's this one.
24Kim Gordon, Ikue Mori, DJ Olive

August 2000 | Sonic Youth Records | 4.1 | πŸ†•

1. Olive's Horn (3/5) πŸ‘Ž
2. International Spy (4/5)
3. Neu Adult (4/5)
4. Paperbag/Orange Laptop (4/5)
5. Stuck on Gum (4.5/5)
6. Fried Mushroom (4.5/5)
7. What Do You Want? (4.5/5)
8. Lemonade (5/5) πŸ‘
9. We Are the Princesses (3.5/5)
10. Take Me Back (4/5)
11. Take It to the Hit (4/5)

The first of our "not-really-Sonic-Youth" Sonic Youth albums. Sure, Ciccone Youth wasn't a Sonic Youth album, but it had every member of the band. Here, the only member is Kim, joined by Ikue Mori and DJ Olive. I've got to say, I really enjoyed this one. It's much more accessible that SYR4, which I can appreciate. Still, I can imagine this not being an easy listen for some. "Lemonade" is a standout for sure. "Olive's Horn" didn't really do to much but open the album, but it's not bad by any means. As I continue through Sonic Youth's discography, the SYR series is quickly becoming something I look forward to and SYR5 is no exception.
25Sonic Youth, Instant Composers Pool and The Ex
In the Fishtank 9

July 2001 | Konkurrent | 3.7 | πŸ†•

1. III (4/5)
2. IV (4.5/5)
3. V (3/5) πŸ‘Ž
4. VI (3/5)
5. II (3.5/5)
6. VIII (3/5)
7. IX (4/5)
8. X (4.5/5) πŸ‘

Well this is something to behold. I haven't heard any post-80s work by the Ex and haven't heard anything by the Instant Composers Pool, but this has definitely piqued my interests. In the Fishtank is a series by the record label Konkurrent that invites a band (or several bands) to a studio and record whatever they'd like over a few days. First off, that's such a fantastic idea and I can't wait to look into this series later in the future. Second, this is really good. The strongest piece was the cacophonous "X." "V" was the weakest due to it's short length and uneventful nature. In the Fishtank 9 is a great example of free-form music that almost defies label, and I can't wait for my consecutive listens of this to bring even more out of it.
26Sonic Youth
Murray Street

June 2002 | Geffen | 3.9 | ↑

1. The Empty Page (4/5)
2. Disconnection Notice (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
3. Rain On Tin (3.5/5)
4. Karen Revisited (4.5/5) πŸ‘
5. Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style (4/5)
6. Plastic Sun (4/5)
7. Sympathy For The Strawberry (4/5)

Touted as a return to form by fans and critics alike, Murray Street has gotten a lot of praise over its 15 year tenure. Personally, I never got why it became the critical darling it did. This sounds exactly like NYC Ghosts & Flowers, except NYC got lambasted by quite a few people and disregarded by quite a few more. Murray Street is a step down from that album, but not a very far one. My pick for best would have to be "Karen Revisited," and my pick for weakest is "Disconnection Notice." Perhaps it's the more conventional Sonic Youth vocals and lyrics that pushed it to the status it has now, but to me it sounds like old hat: one you wear every day and never lets you down. Nothing wrong with that, especially when it's so comfortable.
27Sonic Youth
Kali Yug Express

2002 | Geffen | 3.5 | πŸ†•

1. Derniere Minute Electrifee (3/5) πŸ‘Ž
2. Le Paysage Zim Zum (3.5/5)
3. Coca Neon Kamera Sutra (4/5) πŸ‘

Well here's something special. This was a limited edition 10" that came with French editions of Murray Street. Don't know why this wasn't in the database, but at least now I get to gloat about being the first to rate it. The closer "Coca Neon Kamera Sutra" was a really great little number to end the EP with. "Derniere Minute Electrifee" was a bit of a slow burn, so a lot of drone-y moments I didn't care for. While there's nothing particularly standout on Kali Yug Express, it's still quite enjoyable. One for the die-hard fans to seek out, for sure.
28Sonic Youth
Sonic Nurse

June 2004 | Geffen | 4.1 | ↑

1. Pattern Recognition (5/5) πŸ‘
2. Unmade Bed (4.5/5)
3. Dripping Dream (4/5)
4. Kim Gordon and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream (4/5)
5. Stones (4/5)
6. Dude Ranch Nurse (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
7. New Hampshire (4.5/5)
8. Paper Cup Exit (3.5/5)
9. I Love You Golden Blue (3.5/5)
10. Peace Attack (4/5)

WOW THAT FIRST TRACK IS KILLER. Now that that's out of the way, Sonic Nurse is the last album to feature Jim O'Rourke as a Sonic Youth member, and you couldn't ask for a better sendoff. Murray Street be damned, this is the 2000s Sonic Youth album everyone should be touting. Weakest of the bunch was "Dude Ranch Nurse," but other than that, this is a stellar blend of Murray Street and 80s Youth you won't find very often. One of my new favorites for sure.
29Sonic Youth and Mats Gustafsson
Hidros 3 (To Patti Smith)

September 2004 | Smalltown Supersound | 4.0 | πŸ†•

1. Pt. 1 (3.5/5)
2. Pt. 2 (4.5/5) πŸ‘
3. Pt. 3 (4/5)
4. Pt. 4 (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
5. Pt. 5 (4/5)
6. Pt. 6 (4/5)
7. Pt. 7 (4.5/5)
8. Pt. 8 (4/5)
9. Pt. 9 (4/5)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: we have another abstract collab album. I will give Hidros 3 some credit, it's pretty accessible compared to some of Sonic Youth's SYR releases. But not by much. For the Sonic Youth-curious, this might not be the one for you. For the Sonic Youth faithfuls, you know what you're getting. The 17-minute "Pt. 2" (also known as Voice) is a wonderful piece that will leave you enticed from start to finish. "Pt. 4" (also also known as Voice) was delightfully weird, but not much else. You can never have to many quality avantgarde proects, I always say. Hidros 3 is another quality collaboration that those familiar with the band will feel right at home with.

Here's a fun game of I Spy to play with your friends:
30Sonic Youth
SYR6: Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminim

December 2005 | Sonic Youth Records | 4.0 | πŸ†•

1. SYR 6 (Pt. 1) (4/5)
2. SYR 6 (Pt. 2) (4/5) πŸ‘Ž
3. SYR 6 (Pt. 3) (4/5) πŸ‘

You would think that after 6 entries in the SYR series, it would start to strain on me. This isn't the case, surprisingly. This time around is an improvisational composition split into three parts. And as to be expected by any improvisational work, there are a few ups and downs. SYR6 does feel relatively consistent, so choosing a best and weakest track is difficult. So for the sake of brevity, "SYR 6 (Pt. 3)" and "SYR 6 (Pt. 2)" are the strongest and weakest respectively. I'm sure this was a wonderful live soundtrack to the films of the late Stan Brakhage, but at the very least it makes for a great listen.
31Sonic Youth
Rather Ripped

June 2006 | Geffen | 3.4 | β†’

1. Reena (3.5/5)
2. Incinerate (4/5)
3. Do You Believe In Rapture? (2.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
4. Sleepin' Around (3/5)
5. What A Waste (3.5/5)
6. Jams Run Free (4/5)
7. Rats (3/5)
8. Turquoise Boy (3.5/5)
9. Lights Out (2.5/5)
10. The Neutral (4/5) πŸ‘
11. Pink Steam (3.5/5)
12. Or (3.5/5)

Rather Ripped sees a return to the shorter, rock-centric work of Goo and Dirty. Considering those are my personal weakest Sonic Youth LPs, I was less than ecstatic. No Sonic Youth record is without a few highlights though, and Rather Ripped is no exception. "The Neutral" was an unprecedented late-album charmer. "Do You Believe In Rapture?" however (a relatively boring song to put it bluntly) leaves a lot to be desired. Look, I don't hate Sonic Youth's more straightforward work. It's just that pitting them against such a vibrant discography doesn't do them any favors. Still, not a bad outing by the ever-adapting Sonic Youth.
32Sonic Youth
SYR 7: J'accuse Ted Hughes/Agnes B Musique

April 2008 | Sonic Youth Records | 4.5 | πŸ†•

1. J'accuse Ted Hughes (4.5/5) πŸ‘
2. AgnΓ¨s B Musique (4.5/5) πŸ‘Ž

I feel so sorry for the crowd at All Tomorrow's Parties that were waiting for the Sonic Youth hits and got hit with the 23-minute behemoth "J'accuse Ted Hughes" back in 2000. Anyways, this might just be my favorite of the SYR series thus far. "J'accuse Ted Hughes" barely eeks out as the stronger track against "Agnès B Musique," if only because I like thinking about the crowd looking confused and wondering when the band's gonna stop warming up and play "Sunday." This right here is why I love this brief 2-year period (1999-2000) in Sonic Youth's career. This just proves it was a breeding ground for a more adventurous Sonic Youth.
33Sonic Youth
SYR 8: Andre Sider Af Sonic Youth

July 2008 | Sonic Youth Records | 4.0 | πŸ†•

1. Andre Sider af Sonic Youth (with Merzbow & Mats Gustafsson) (4/5)

Ah, Mr. Merzbow and Mr. Gustafsson, we meet again. Taken from a live show in Denmark, SYR8 is yet another fantastic experiment by Sonic Youth. This really doesn't mesh well with the layout I've been using for this list series (probably should've thought about that before starting), but I'll forgo the "best and weakest track" thing just this once to say that this something anyone interested in the SYR series should pick up. Out of all the SYR series releases, this one feels the most similar to Sonic Youth's mainstream sound. Maybe a bit noisier (thanks Merzbow), but quite enjoyable. Also, I don't think I brought attention to it before, but Mats's saxophone playing is killer and deserves some of my adoration. I'd almost say that this is the best entryway into the SYR series if I wasn't such a strong advocate of going in chronological order. Definitely check this one out.
34Sonic Youth
The Eternal

June 2009 | Matador | 3.1 | ↓

1. Sacred Trickster (3/5)
2. Anti-Orgasm (3/5)
3. Leaky Lifeboat (For Gregory Corso) (3/5)
4. Antenna (2.5/5)
5. What We Know (3/5)
6. Calming the Snake (3.5/5) πŸ‘
7. Poison Arrow (3.5/5)
8. Malibu Gas Station (3.5/5)
9. Thunderclap for Bobby Pyn (3/5)
10. No Way (3.5/5)
11. Walkin Blue (2.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
12. Massage the History (3.5/5)

The Eternal is Sonic Youth's final studio album. Just saying that fills me with sadness. Not because the journey is ending, but because it ends so weakly. Their first (and last) record on indie giant Matador, The Eternal is a pretty dull exit for one of rock's most legendary. But even at their lowest, Sonic Youth still pull out a decent rock record. "Calming the Snake" is a pretty good track, but not particularly better than anything on this. The penultimate "Walkin Blue" didn't do much for me however. While they didn't leave on a high note, Sonic Youth did remind us of one fact: all things must pass.
35Sonic Youth
SYR 9: Simon Werner a Disparu

February 2011 | Sonic Youth Records | 4.0 | πŸ†•

1. Thème de Jérémie (4/5)
2. Alice et Simon (3.5/5)
3. Les Anges au Piano (4/5)
4. Chez Yves (Alice et Clara) (4/5)
5. Jean-Baptiste Γ  la fenΓͺtre (4/5)
6. Thème de Laetitia (5/5)
7. Escapades (4/5)
8. La Cabane au Zodiac (3.5/5)
9. Dans Le Bois/M. Rabier (4.5/5)
10. Jean-Baptiste et Laetitia (3/5) πŸ‘Ž
11. Thème de Simon (4/5)
12. Au CafΓ© (4/5)
13. ThΓ¨me d'Alice (5/5) πŸ‘

SYR9 holds the prestigious honor of being the last Sonic Youth recording ever. So, I guess this should be considered the true final album. Which is great, because this instrumental soundtrack is actually a much more fitting conclusion to the band and a much better outing overall. Just listen to "Thème d'Alice" if you need any further proof of this. "Jean-Baptiste et Laetitia," while nice, is way too short. I take back what I said about SYR8 being a good starting place. This is the most conventional SYR release, so everyone should try this out at some point.
36Yoko Ono / Kim Gordon / Thurston Moore

September 2012 | Chimera Music | 3.3 | πŸ†•

1. I Missed You Listening (4/5) πŸ‘
2. Running the Risk (3.5/5)
3. I Never Told You, Did I? (2.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
4. Mirror Mirror (3.5/5)
5. Let's Get There (3/5)
6. Early in the Morning (3.5/5)

So. You're band has taken a "hiatus" and you've split from your spouse of almost 30 years. What do you do? Apparently, if you're Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, you make an album with Yoko Ono. Living punchline Yoko Ono gets a bad rap in my opinion. She's one hell of an artist, and albums like YOKOKIMTHURSTON make that very clear. But artistry alone an album does not make and that's also apparent on YOKOKIMTHURSTON. The opener "I Missed You Listening" was very good, but not much else stood out as such. "I Never Told You, Did I?" has a lot of moaning and very sparse instrumentation, so not a easy listen... I guess YOKOKIMTHURSTON is one way to try and fix a marriage. I'd suggest counseling first, but this isn't too bad.
37Sonic Youth
Smart Bar-Chicago 1985

November 2012 | Goofin' | 4.6 | πŸ†•

1. Hallowe'en (4.5/5)
2. Death Valley '69 (5/5) πŸ‘
3. Intro/Brave Men Run (In My Family) (5/5)
4. I Love Her All the Time (5/5)
5. Ghost Bitch (4.5/5)
6. I'm Insane (5/5)
7. Kat'n'hat (4.5/5)
8. Brother James (4.5/5)
9. Kill Yr Idols (5/5)
10. Secret Girl (3.5/5) πŸ‘Ž
11. Flower (5/5)
12. The Burning Spear (4/5)
13. Expressway To Yr Skull (4/5)
14. Making the Nature Scene (4.5/5)

An '85 live show? Hell yeah. It's a lot of early material played with a lot of energy, of course I love it. It's pretty incredible how much the live cuts here sound so much like the studio, but I guess that's just a byproduct of being the rawest. "Death Valley '69" is my pick for best track to the surprise of no one, but shoutout to my 2nd favorite "I'm Insane" for being there. Also, I can't tell if I hate "Secret Girl" or love it, but it always breaks the flow of every album it's on. But, this is fantastic otherwise. Give it a go.
38Sonic Youth
Spinhead Sessions

June 2016 | Goofin' | 3.5 | β†’

1. Ambient Guitar & Dreamy Theme (3.5/5)
2. Theme With Noise (3.5/5)
3. High Mesa (4/5) πŸ‘
4. Unknown Theme (3.5/5)
5. Wolf (3/5) πŸ‘Ž
6. Scalping (3.5/5)
7. Theme 1 Take 4 (3.5/5)

Our final act of this Discography Run is a relatively new release, having only come out a year ago as of this posting. However, this was a rehearsal done in 1986 that was done before they recorded the Made In USA soundtrack (man, Sonic Youth did a lot of soundtracks). But this is much different than what Made In USA eventually became. For one, this is instrumental and a lot more ambient than the soundtrack it eventually became. Also, there's way too many versions of the theme here, so that's a bummer. It's a very homogeneous listen, as you may have guessed. "High Mesa" was my favorite, and "Wolf" was the weakest (and shortest). Not a bad listen, but not one to go out of your way for unless you're a completionist.
39Sonic Youth
Silver Session (For Jason Knuth)

July 1998 | Sonic Knuth Records | 3.6 | πŸ†•

1. Silver Panties (3.5/5)
2. Silver Breeze (3/5)
3. Silver Flower (3.5/5)
4. Silver Wax Lips (4/5)
5. Silver Loop (4/5) πŸ‘
6. Silver Shirt (4/5)
7. Silver Son (3/5) πŸ‘Ž
8. Silver Mirror (3.5/5)

Bonus Writeup #1 (November 15, 2018)

Seeing as how this release had it's 20th anniversary this year, I suppose it's fitting that I finally listened to it. Silver Session (For Jason Knuth) is dedicated to the titular Jason Knuth, a Sonic Youth fan that committed suicide. The band then released this CD and donated the proceeds to the San Francisco Suicide Prevention Hotline; a kind gesture. The music is mainly drone-y noise and a faint drum machine, but sort of like with Master-Dik, I started getting into it the longer it went on. "Silver Loop" was my favorite part, and "Silver Son" was my least favorite. Silver Session (For Jason Knuth) is mainly for the die-hards musically, but I think anyone could appreciate the sentiment.
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