Originally Posted by whorefrost
firstly i'd like to call bullshit on all the people claiming that the inferior quality of mp3s makes a leaked copy unlistenable. there were a lot of people on this board happily circulating a bootleg of the concert that went on to become SYR6. A bootleg for christ's sake! A bootleg of a CD that was for a charitable cause. I can imagine these are the same people who are refusing to download rather ripped.
Ok, i've only listened to this once but my intial impression is one of severe disappointment. As one interviewer noted, it sounds like "classic Sonic Youth." You can hear echoes of a lot of more melodic SY moments. The song Rats even has a riff which, to my ears, sounds like it could have been directly lifted from Disappearer.
RR is a definite continuation from the previous two records but it does not progress on them in any way. Unless you call using chorus pedals during solos and singing in key an exciting new progression. It just sounds like a predictable SY record, sans the noise. sans the edge and excitement. It is sadly predictable, most songs utilising rapid melodic fingerpicking reminiscent of Rain on Tin or Dripping Dream. Throw in some token noisey-ish solos and you bland lyrical content/delivery and you've got the new SY record.
Thurston's vocals sound OK for the most part although his lyrics seem uninspired. Thurston often writes throwaway lyrics but in a good way; in a dadaist surrealist spontaneous way. On the last track, Or, he sounds weary and unconnected to what he is singing.
Kim's lyrics are the biggest disappointment for me. When I listen to ATL or Nurse I always marvel at her ferocious, idiosyncratic vocal delivery. this is sadly absent from RR where she seems to be emulating Thurston in an attempt to deliver breathy, standard rock style vocals w/ sub-par lyrics to match.
Most of the songs are pretty catchy like Do You Believe in Rapture and Sleeping Around. I just expect a lot more complexity and depth from a Sonic Youth record. There are no experimental song structures or sounds. It is almost as if they have been overly inspired by remastering Goo and Dirty. It could be construed that the whole LP is an experiment in that trying to write a straight up rock record is an experiment for Sonic Youth. But I don't really buy that; they went far enough in that direction with Nurse and Murray Street whilst still maintaining their avant-garde sensibilities and integrity. The only thing I can think of, and it is rather cynical, is that they are trying to endear themselves to Geffen and a more mainstream audience in the hope of having their contract renewed. I'm sure being on Geffen affords them a comfortable income that they would do well to maintain. They aren't quite at retirement age yet after all, and still probably have mortgages to pay off. This is just my theory, but to me it sounds as if they are playing it safe, co-opting their art in favour of playing the corporate game.
Anyway, I await your flames.
I agree with you on a good deal of this. Sonic Youth has essentially released (or not released yet
) the same album three times. The music is not bad but it's nothing special, for the most part
. Easy-listening with an edge. Kurt Loder with a boner. Your buddy's cat with a pink sock portuding as a result of poor diet and procrastination.
With that said I enjoy the occasional spin of Nurse and the more-than occasional spin of Murray Street.