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Old 08.28.2007, 06:47 PM   #21
RanaldoNecro
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My personal fav album. Maybe it was the timing....not sure. Its all gold to me...

In my top three albums of all time..
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Old 08.28.2007, 08:56 PM   #23
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Yeah probably my favourite SY too.

Why all the Saucer-Like hate? Could be my favourite Lee song.

Diamond Sea is undeniably SY's most transcendent moment. I listened to it on mescaline and the last gat solo at around the 15 minute mark was so intense and visceral I honesty feared for my own sanity!

Panty Lies is the only song I'm not really a fan of, all the others showcase SY at their most advanced yet experimental stage in their career (perhaps rivalled by 1000 leaves)
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Old 08.28.2007, 10:55 PM   #24
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Washing Machine is one of my faves...but at the time it could have been just that I hated EJTANS so much on release that WM came as a relief.

Now I love most of EJTANS too.

Time fucks you like that.
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Old 08.29.2007, 10:31 AM   #25
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SY albums seem a lot like Dr Who: your fave tends to be the one you heard/saw first.
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Old 08.29.2007, 11:32 AM   #26
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So you're saying that "Bad Moon Rising" is the Tom Baker of the SY canon? Nice.
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Old 08.30.2007, 04:19 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
...
I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree with you.
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Old 08.30.2007, 05:09 AM   #28
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Awesome album!
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Old 08.30.2007, 06:09 AM   #29
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Probably my most favourite SY album. There's a unique feeling in the sound here that I haven't found in any other album of theirs, I actually wish they'd go back to this kind of material a bit. I used to dislike Panty Lies, but it has grown on me and I really like it now, like the rest of the album.

Of the songs in here, Becuz is a perfect opener that shocks the listener just enough to prepare what's coming afterwards. Junkies Promise is great rock, with an odd arrangement.
No Queen Blues is one of my top 5 SY songs for sure, a unique noise-blues experiment, and Thurston's vocals on it are great just like on the rest of the album (what is it with his singing that people don't like?).

Washing Machine is one of the grooviest SY songs I know - whenever I need some music to lift my mood up, it's either this one or Teenage Riot. It starts with an incredible interplay of guitars, with one of them chasing after the other but never catching up, and the transition that brings the song into the instumental part and the solo might be the best SY moment ever, really a great composition.

Lee's best songs are here in my opinion, in particular I love Saucer-Like.
Kim's voice sounds much better on WM than on many other albums in my opinion, and her "style" is truly amazing here and probably the last time it felt so effective. The main problem with this is that most listeners will look for "beauty" in vocals, especially female vocals. Call it artsy, maybe a bit pretentious, but it's incredibly powerful, and at its top on this album.

Little Trouble Girl also requires an open mind in my opinion. Once you do let it flow without expecting noise and rock at all costs, it's quite beautiful, just like Unwind. Is there anything more peaceful? And it certainly isn't boring or sleep-inducing: the interplay of the 3 guitars is lovely and could keep me awake forever. At the same time, both of these songs bring an odd but beautiful feeling of uncertainty.

There isn't any track on Washing Machine that I'd skip. The instrumental untitled track kind of "closes" the album in a SgtPepperish way, and much like on that album, the album moves on to its most epic song, The Diamond Sea, which hopefully doesn't require any explanation: 20 minutes of sonic delight.

In my opinion, it was their masterpiece of the 90s, and despite loving (almost) every single one of their records, I find the same depth only in Daydream Nation and Murray Street.
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Old 08.30.2007, 07:24 AM   #30
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"Panty Lies" and "Little Trouble Girl" foreshadow A Thousand Leaves, if you ask me. Lyrically/conceptually, anyway. Even if you don't agree with some of the dominant theories as to what they based A Thousand Leaves on (it's easily their most mysterious album), you should still see the thematic connection with these two earlier numbers.
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Old 08.30.2007, 07:51 AM   #31
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thurston's vocals don't bother me, unless they're sassy.
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Old 08.30.2007, 01:52 PM   #32
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1. Becuz.
There's just something about this song that keeps my coming back to it again. I think the repetition is beneficial in this case. It nails it in your head that it's all "Becuz of you". To me, it's bliss from the "Angel" midsection to the last crashing note.

2. Junkie's Promise.
It starts off very raw, like a Pinto on a cold morning. Stick with it long enough and I feel it redeems itself in the later parts.

3. Saucer-Like.
I used to prefer this over Skip Tracer at first. The harmonies are very nice and unexpected to a seasoned SY fan. Better than average, but not as vocally strong compared to other Lee compositions.

4. Washing Machine.
I couldn't handle this song at first, but I've learned the error of my ways. The second part (after Alright, Okay) is the real clincher. After you grasp that, the first part makes perfect sense. One of the best songs on the album, and the era.

5. Unwind.
The most chill song the Youth have ever put out. The title summarizes the song. Very nice and dreamy.

6. Little Trouble Girl.
Though I don't agree that it's an awful song, I love the comment "It's the Shangri-Las laying on a psychiatrist's couch". Damn, Kim Deal used to have such a great voice. I really like Kim's lyrics on this one. The moment we all face when we leave our childhood behind and live our own lives. Wait, I'm making it sound more significant than it is...

7. No Queen Blues.
I love the guitar tone on this track, as well as the reverbed vocals. It's not for everyone - I can see why - but it's got this vibe to it that remind me of something out of the late 60's/early 70's. Gotta say I like it.

8. Panty-Lies.
No....just....NO.

9. Untitled.
They should have told the label to shove it and kept it on Becuz.

10. Skip Tracer.
Like I said, this wasn't my favorite of Lee's two songs at first but it has become that. I love how he can invoke images with simple sentences. He's definitely the best lyricist in the band. "The edge of a blade pressed to the throat of your reflected image"...probably one of the best sentences in the SY catalogue. "Shouting the poetic truths of a high school journal keeper"...such a blasting insult that is delivered as if it were a compliment.

11. Diamond Sea.
We all love this song. We all agree it's epic and one of SY's finest achievements. However, I feel it lags in around the 13 minute mark or so...it's as if they set their instruments on a tape delay and walked out for a smoke and came back for the last few minutes. The 25 minute version has a little more action but I feel this could have been a bit shorter. Try playing along on guitar and you'll see what I mean. I'm sorry to throw any kind of insult at what is considered equivalent to the Bible in the literature world, but that's my opinion.


In summary, probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite SY album. If it wasn't for Panty Lies this might possibly take the top spot from my beloved Sister. But alas, you can't change a work of art after it's completed. Especially after 10+ years.
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Old 08.31.2007, 04:59 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
6. Little Trouble Girl. It's the Shangri-Las laying on a psychiatrist's couch. I want to think that's a great idea, and maybe it is. But this really is an awful song.

7. No Queen Blues. A decent enough laid back chugger with the trade mark 'Sonic Youthy' bit at the end again. The real problem is the vocals. None of SY have very good singing voices and one of the things I find so frustrating about this period is how much emphasis they put on the vocals. Thurston Kim and Lee have always been better shouters than singers.

10. Skip Tracer. Lee doing his usual beat poetry shenanigans. Nice but nothing great. Music is pretty boring for him. Again, drop the vocals lower...please or just shout. anything. just don't SING!

Even the good tracks on here (Becuz, Junkie's Theme and Diamond Sea) aren't THAT great, and certainly don't save what I really think is one of SY's worst albums.

might the cause of your current spate of insomnia be the massive quantities of crack you are on or are you really going to stick with the "its just coffee" routine?
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Old 08.31.2007, 05:33 AM   #34
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The sound of my jaws dropping. Save for Little Trouble Girl, with its 'so so' sedated impersonation of The Shangri-Las, it's pretty much the Sonic Youth album that somehow makes me feel euphoric like I'm high on helium or poppers every single time I put it on. Again, I still haven't worked out how it's possible to write songs with guitars that sound like those on Skip Tracer, with its demented pacing and all. This album has also my favourite vocal delivery by Kim Gordon ever on the title track. Just before it came out, I read somewhere that prominent influences on the record included Patti Smith and The Velvets at their Sister Ray best. Tha's all fine and dandy,I thought, imagining that Sonic Youth would try to up the game on those influences and come up with something else altogether, which they did big time. The Smith influence in particular I hear a lot on the New York City priestess vocal delivery of Kim Gordon on Washing Machine, coupled with some of the best played/sounding guitars that I have ever heard on any records ever. I could go on forever about this or any other of their records, but I'm off for a quick fag.
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Old 08.31.2007, 05:42 AM   #35
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Sonic Youth's best album in the 90's. One of my all time favorites.
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Old 08.31.2007, 11:26 PM   #36
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I don't understand how anyone could not like this album, but that's just me. Washing Machine seems like a real return to form after EJTANS, which i'm not overly fond of. "Skip Tracer", "Becuz", "Diamond Sea", all great tracks. But the song "Washing Machine" is what really does it for me on this album. The music in that song so perfectly compliments Kim's vocals (which really don't bother me at all on this one) and the way the dischordant first half of the song transforms into the dreamy second half just sounds soooo cool. The only song I really skip on this album is "Little Trouble Girl", it's one of my least favorite SY tracks on one of my favorite SY albums.
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Old 09.02.2007, 07:14 PM   #37
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I've loved Panty Lies since the first time, what's with all the hate?
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Old 09.02.2007, 07:36 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moshe
Sonic Youth's best album in the 90's. One of my all time favorites.

My sentiments exactly. This was the record when they finally said, "Screw this flirtation with the mainstream, it ain't gonna happen! Lets be Sonic Fucking Youth again."

I was at a place in my personal life where I really needed a washing machine too, and they delivered the goods in a big way.
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Old 09.03.2007, 02:10 PM   #39
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i can't think of a song on that album that i don't love. especially 'washing machine.' the lyrics just...i can't even explain why i dig them so much.

i guess if there HAS to be a throwaway track, it'd be 'saucer-like,' but i still love that one, too.
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Old 01.03.2008, 08:26 AM   #40
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I might be wrong

Becuz:
The beginning guitar part is great, but soon after that dark mystery the song becomes bland and indeed, repetitive. The lyrics that subdue the guitar lose my interest- even if they're good, they're pretty girly. I can't relate to sentiments like "Standing with him, you feel more real" After the first verse the guitars kick in with a lot of power which reels me back, and that chunk is so good that when the lyrics roll around for the second verse, suddenly I'm hooked into what Kim Gordon's saying- it seems to have a gravitational pull. She can definitely do that to me sometimes. All-in-all, a solid track.

Junkie's Promise:
The song itself is so self-loathing/pitying and in any other instance that would majorly turn me off. But here it's obviously about a self-loathing character, and not about Thurston himself (I could be wrong, but I strongly get that impression). Junkie's tempo goes everywhere too- the beginning is slow and chunky which emphasizes the speed of the solo. Great distortion. Definitely a good rock-out track.

Saucer-like:
I'm a lover as well. Firstly, that beginning tension is so important, because the repetitive calm afterward gets annoying quickly. Lyrically this song is pretty badass. The twisted guitar part is quite something as well. I give props to any song that can always change, develop, and generally move.

Washing Machine:
In an album, it's pretty important not to fuck up the title track. I don't think Sonic Youth fucked up Washing Machine, I think it's just misunderstood.
Yes, the opening vocals are the runner up for the ultimate epitome of bad taste. I'll get to that.
It's a first-person story, and after the character's boyfriend (who she practically worships) can only return her adoration with "Honey, you look so fine.", you can totally tell by her tone and the music that she enters some dazed contemplation, or at least starts re-thinking her life. When the girl says she was walking down the empty street that turns into a field where she sees a woman's face, I see a spiritual experience. Not you're typical one (if there is a typical spiritual experience), as God, or a god, totally insults her, basically saying "Clean up yr act, whore" And when she looked up, the music undergoes this terrific, whirling transfiguration, which shows her transfiguration- it's very rough and combative at first, which is eventually drowned out by static, and then by this deep peace. I think by the end of the song, she's realized she's meant for better things then that schmuck she was with before. She's been transformed into a better person now. The transformation the god gave her was painful (the combativeness), but ultimately sobering (the deep peace by the end of the song). That, or maybe one crazy acid trip. YOU decide! I think it'd be a lot cooler to think Sonic Youth wrote a song with Aphrodite as a main character.
In this paradigm it's very necessary to make the beginning vocals near-intolerable and the music rough and un-inviting. It's Sonic Youth's way of saying "This is no Catholic schoolgirl. This is one nasty-ass bitch" It's not music for music's sake, it's music for story-telling sake, and the music plays the part perfectly.

Unwind:
Pretty lyrics. The greatness of the song is the subtle perversion of the original guitar line, which gradually gets out of hand and consumes everything. It's also interesting that it's labeled “unwinding” as if to say “This pretty picture was painted out of bits of chaos” The lyrics “Laugh in the midday light, then leave it behind” are perfectly reflected musically in the second half of the song. Smart songwriting.

Little Trouble Girl:
I instantly liked this song the first time I heard it, but musically it's spread too thin. We can all relate to growing away from our parents. It's message is about what real love and real respect is. Confrontation is such beautiful respect. It's like the movie “Signs” where Mel Gibson is holding his dying son in his arms, looks up to God and says through his tears “I hate you.” Because it took a lot for his character to fight with God. It'd be easy for the character in the song to lie to her mother about what she does, but she loves her enough to struggle. She won't take the easy way out and bullshit the mother she loves.
All things considered, a weak track. Endearing, but weak.

No Queen Blues:
The first time I heard this track, I had to skip it. That doesn't happen often. I like the dirty, dark guitars, and the production's pretty neat. But Thurston's vocals when saying “the Queen of NO NO NO...” drive me nuts. The lyrics in general aren't great, and the way he delivers that line gets me out of the mood. I'd suffer through it for the music only when I'm in the mood for that mess at the end.

Panty Lies:
Remember the runner up to the epitome of bad taste?
Guess who won first prize.

The Untitled Track:
Eerie. I like it. The blast at the end is a great touch.

Skip Tracer:
Another track I immediately liked. That starting riff is so interesting, and the lyrics give yr ears so much to chew on. The lyrics, like all of Lee's songs, are great. I especially love “very 'I'm-in-a-band'” and “Shouting the poetic truths of high-school journal keepers” The second the lyrics slow down, the music develops. Never a dull moment. I love it.

Diamond Sea:
One universally adored sonic experiment. In my personal opinion, I hate the jagged parts near the end, but you're not supposed to completely like an experiment. I could've sworn they'd hit some frequency near there that would explode my brain. Mad props to the epically tripped-out lyrics. A great number all-around.
Great for listening to after doing that old dance with maryjane.
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