Sonic Youth
Rather Ripped


4.0
excellent

Review

by br3ad_man EMERITUS
June 28th, 2006 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


In 2002, Sonic Youth released Murray Street, the first in what is now a series of solid post-20th-century releases from the band. It's follow-up, Sonic Nurse, was released in 2004 to much critical acclaim. Rather Ripped, the group's latest album continues the ideas of Murray Street and Sonic Nurse and is one of the mellowest albums from Sonic Youth yet.

Sonic Youth
Thurston Moore - Guitar, Vocals
Kim Gordon - Bass, Vocals
Lee Ranaldo - Guitar, Vocals
Steve Shelley - Drums

Sonic Youth have to be one of the most reliable bands in modern indie rock. For the better part of 25 years now, they have maintained a solid and steady output of albums. It may be true that quite a few of their records have come under criticism from fans and critics alike, but it's almost a guarantee that if Sonic Youth release an album, someone, somewhere, will find something to like about it. Indeed, on the strength of the band's last two records, it is no longer a surprise that Sonic Youth are able to release such quality material so late in their career.

The most interesting and obvious thing to note about Rather Ripped is the fact that it doesn't include much of the sprawled out jamming or noise experiments that Sonic Youth are so famous for. While this may be a dissapointment for some fans it is, at the very least, proof that Sonic Youth are capable of writing great rock songs. Although the record is generally comprised of standard length rock songs, Kim Gordon's contribution "Turquoise Boy" takes advantage of those sprawling sounds while the 7 minute mostly instrumental "Pink Steam" is both a long jam and one of the best songs that Rather Ripped has to offer.

Thurston Moore contributes the majority of the tracks on Rather Ripped while Kim Gordon contributes a couple of the albums strongest tracks, most notably "Reena" and "What a Waste". Lee Ranaldo's sole contribution comes in the form of "Rats", one of the albums most fun songs. Sporting one of the best bass riffs Sonic Youth have ever written, "Rats" is dissapointing for the sole reason that it's Lee's only contribution and it would have been nice to see more of him on Rather Ripped. The album has a number of rockers, such as the aforementioned "Rats" as well as "Incinerate" and "Sleepin Around". Though the album is generally made up of such tracks, it's quite often the album's more sparse songs that are it's most interesting. Probably the best example of this is the album's closer, the folk sounding "Or", which seems to include little but some soft percussion, Moore's voice and a simple and repetitive but beautiful guitar riff.

Overall, Rather Ripped is a mellow, catchy and most importantly, solid album. Where most bands at Sonic Youth's age are rehashing old sounds, it's refreshing to see a band who continually do something new and, as a result, release quality albums 25 years into their career.

Pros
Mellow and catchy guitar riffs
The band leave noisy experiments out of the picture with good results
The inclusion of some sprawling jam based tracks (Turquoise Boy, Pink Steam)

Cons
A couple of weak tracks
More input from Lee Ranaldo would have been nice

Reccomended Tracks
Incinerate
Rats
Pink Steam]

FINAL RATING: 4/5



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other reviews of this album
Two-Headed Boy (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
pulseczar
June 28th 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This review is on the money in terms of my opinion of the album. Great job bread.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 28th 2006


2126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You seriously give this a 5 Eliminator?

The Jungler
June 28th 2006


4826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This is another new CD I gotta relisten to. For now I'm gonna stick with the enitial 3. Good review br3ad.

Great avatar Eliminator.



br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 28th 2006


2126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't wait to see most of this played live next month.

Two-Headed Boy
June 28th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

:eek: You bastard.

Zebra
Moderator
June 28th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Reena, Incinerate, What A Waste, Rats, and Or are all very good tracks. The problem is that the rest is boring. Good work on the review, I somewhat agree with what you said but I still think that this album was a letdown.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 28th 2006


2126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:eek: You bastard.




Sorry.

Two-Headed Boy
June 28th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aw, well, I have gloating rights from Radiohead so...:o

Two-Headed Boy
June 28th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Perhaps my Charizard has something to say about that...:angry:

Cygnus Inter Anates
August 15th 2006


721 Comments


What comes first, the music or the words?

Neoteric
September 10th 2006


3243 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I am enjoying this album a lot =)



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