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Old 10.02.2017, 06:47 PM   #50161
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I personally prefer Sister to DDN, but yeah Evol is my favorite.
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Old 10.02.2017, 06:56 PM   #50162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
I personally prefer Sister to DDN, but yeah Evol is my favorite.

I personally prefer it too, but I think DDN is a better, more realized work. It’s the old favorite vs. best thing. Sister is my fave, DDN is the best.
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Old 10.02.2017, 07:00 PM   #50163
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Taking out Hot Wire, Master Dik and Bubblegum vastly improves each album, in my opinion. Master and Bubble weren't on the originals anyway, right?

So, going by the original sequence...

Hot Wire still sucks. And Sister should end with Kotton, not White Kross, which belongs earlier in the sequence.

Evol coheres more as an album, as a flow of thought. It is objectively better.

But fuck it. I'm not a critic and prefer Sister, which is and probably always will be my #1 fav.
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Old 10.02.2017, 09:16 PM   #50164
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Honestly though these are all great albums. Picking a best is like whatever. So yeah. Picking favorites means something more personal to each of us I'm sure.
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Old 10.02.2017, 09:56 PM   #50165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evollove
Taking out Hot Wire, Master Dik and Bubblegum vastly improves each album, in my opinion. Master and Bubble weren't on the originals anyway, right?

So, going by the original sequence...

Hot Wire still sucks. And Sister should end with Kotton, not White Kross, which belongs earlier in the sequence.

Evol coheres more as an album, as a flow of thought. It is objectively better.

But fuck it. I'm not a critic and prefer Sister, which is and probably always will be my #1 fav.

Yeah, I’m not nuts about the tracks you mentioned either. Well, I do like “Hot Wire...” but it was unnecessary. Should have been a B-side, along with “White Kross.”

But I had an insane, terrible acid trip to Sister once (to SISTER... can you imagine? Being in a bad place already, and on LSD, and then letting the weight of “Schizophrenia” sink into your fucking brain cells?) and not even that could ruin it for me.

Evol is super goddam good though. Shit man. But I’m weird because I think Bad Moon Rising is goddamn near perfect. No, it IS perfect. Evol no. Sister no. Daydream, yeah. Sister’s still my favorite, warts and all.
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Old 10.02.2017, 09:59 PM   #50166
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Evol is Def better than Bad Moon. Don't get me wrong, both 5 star albums. But Evol has such a tone to it. A warm drone. And the SS Beat Control. I just think the highs are (slightly) higher, and more sustained as a whole.
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Old 10.03.2017, 02:09 AM   #50167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
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Evol
1986, I've long called Evol my favorite album. I mean my favorite album of all time. My one desert island disc if you will. There's something about it - everything really. That cover art. The liner notes. Even the title. Evol is violently beautiful, right from the opening of "Tom Violence." It is immediately clear - or at least within seconds - that this new lineup with Steve Shelley on drums has gelled into something perfect. The material here is just as intense and visceral as on previous records, but there's something just gorgeous and lulling about a lot of the songs here. Maybe it's that explorations of love are buried here under much of the noise. The droniness of aforementioned "Tom Violence," or the plinky percussive strings on "Shadow Of A Doubt" with its whispered Kim vocal balance out the rushing almost-pop of "Starpower," grotesque storytelling of "In The Kingdom #19" or the thrillingly horrifying "Marilyn Moore." Later on Kim delivers a narrative over stray piano on "Secret Girls" and eventually the whole thing is wrapped up with what is one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded: "Expressway To Yr Skull." This is one of those records where every track could be my favorite. Strangely the CD version has always tacked on the bonus track "Bubblegum" which just doesn't fit well with everything that preceded it in my opinion. But that's a pretty minor complaint about the best album ever recorded.

Sonic Youth
Sister
1987, There's always been this certain tone I've gotten from Sister that I'm not quite sure how to describe. It's way less warm than Evol. It's darker. And the guitar notes feel like knives. It feels more akin to Confusion or Bad Moon than Evol, but is clearly written by the same band that created that record. But this one opens with "Schizophrenia," a song about insanity which certainly starts things on a different foot. While certainly there are mellow moments here like on "Beauty Lies In The Eye," or the absolutely beautiful "Cotton Crown," for the most part Sister just fucking rocks. "Catholic Block," "Stereo Sanctity," "Tuff Gnarl"... these are some songs made up of pure energy. "Pacific Coast Highway" feels like the one true throwback to the nightmares of Bad Moon and Evol. Sister is really kind of a weird record. It takes some strange chances and yet none of them feel super daring - even the cover of "Hot Wire My Heart" somehow fits here cohesively. Maybe even weirder is that the version of "Master-Dik" included as a bonus track on the CD release manages to make some sort of sense on this album even with its goofy rapping. In that sense Sister may well be the most interesting record that Sonic Youth created in this era.

I love your review of EVOL. Of course both of these are favourites of mine. But Sister feels more just like a collection of songs, but a /tight/ collection of great songs. But EVOL, there's just something special about that album for me, even if song-by-song it may not stack up as well against other SY albums.

Bad Moon Rising has a lot of the same sound as EVOL, but in my opinion just feels unfinished/ half-baked. There's good stuff there, don't get me wrong, but it's one of their weaker efforts.
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Old 10.03.2017, 08:40 AM   #50168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirty bunny
I love your review of EVOL. Of course both of these are favourites of mine. But Sister feels more just like a collection of songs, but a /tight/ collection of great songs. But EVOL, there's just something special about that album for me, even if song-by-song it may not stack up as well against other SY albums.

yeah, that's sort of maybe how I think too. Like Sister is full of great songs. The whole time I'm like "Schizophrenia, great! Tuff Gnarl, great! Cotton Crown, great!" etc. But Evol is just like... this really perfectly cohesive thing. This singular ALBUM (ignoring "Bubblegum" that doesn't even belong there haha) that just hangs together like a pink cloud around you. Try as I may - I doubt I'll ever fully be able to put into words what it is about this album, but there's really nothing else quite like it to my ears. Where as Sister, is yeah, a bunch of great Sonic Youth songs. Period. It's obviously not a knock or put down or anything. I love Sister. But Sister isn't Evol. Nothing is.

Quote:
Bad Moon Rising has a lot of the same sound as EVOL, but in my opinion just feels unfinished/ half-baked. There's good stuff there, don't get me wrong, but it's one of their weaker efforts.

I still love BMR. But I feel like it's got a super strong A-side and then a bit lesser B-side but ends with "Death Valley 69" which is so outstanding that it sort of makes up for that slightly weaker b-side. As I mentioned when I talked about BMR a couple of weeks ago, really my fav song on the album would be "Halloween" which wasn't even originally on the damn record.
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Old 10.03.2017, 10:07 AM   #50169
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Fucking BMR is not half-baked you chodes!

It’s kinda what SY was all about af that time, and continued to be all about even after they developed a more rockist sound. The transitions on BMR make it all bleed together gloriously. It opens with one of the greatest five-or-so minutes in the SY canon (“Intro” > “Brace Men Run”) and hidden in the gaps between proper songs are infectious ass grooves and moments of glorious tsunami noise.
“Society is a Hole” grabbed me by the bits more than just about any other SY song on first listen, if I’m honest with myself. I heard it and never forgot the drone, or the lyrics. When a droney, stony mess like that can get stuck in your head like a pop song, you’re fucking on to something.
The end of “Justice is Might” is revelatory. Takes some patience to locate those moments, but they’re totally there.
“I’m Insane” is one of their most kickass songs, period.
“Halloween” is perfect. That groove, and Kim’s delivery, are quintessentially SY through and through.

I feel like a lot of people, surprisingly, listen to BMR only for “Death Valley ‘69,” which is badass and everything, but it’s not even one of the best songs on the album (or on the reissued album with the bonus tracks, which I’m considering “the album” since it’s the only thing I’ve ever know).

BMR is top tier Sonic Youth. So is Evol. So is Sister. So is Daydream. I feel like the top tierness of BMR is not even debatable. It’s part the best sequence of albums of the 1980s.

Also, it’s fall... this is BMR SEASON. No album sounds better against a backdrop of falling leaves and increasingly chilly winds.
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Old 10.03.2017, 10:14 AM   #50170
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You guys do have me playing Evol against Sister in my head and wondering if I’m not more of an Evol guy at this point in my life, though. Doubt it, but it’s worth investigating. And I don’t actually think Evol is more cohesive than Sister. I think it can sound that way because it’s more compressed, and it’s mixed and mastered in a way that gives it a more level feel. Sister is much more dynamic, production wise, and has a rockier sound with sharper edges. So it sounds less like a well-kneaded dough and more like peaks and valleys. But that doesn’t mean the quality isn’t there. That doesn’t mean the sequencing isn’t spot on. As an album it’s goddamn electrifying.

The only thing I could really do without (speaking of the CD versions here) is “Master-Dik.” I take back my comment about “White Cross.” I love that song. It should come before “Kotton Krowb,” but as a song it totally belongs on the record. Just maybe not in the place it occupies. That album should close with “Kotton Krown,” y’all. We know it.
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Old 10.03.2017, 10:20 AM   #50171
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Yes, "Intro/Brave Men" rules. And then you mentioned a couple more from the A-side. Then one from the b-side. Then a bonus track which I already said would be my favorite song on the album - had it originally been on the album.

BMR is great. It was great then. It's still great. But Evol is greater.
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Old 10.03.2017, 10:24 AM   #50172
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the best BMR songs are "Intro/Brave Men Run," "Death Valley 69," and "Halloween."

The best Evol songs are... the 9 songs that make up the album proper.

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Old 10.03.2017, 11:14 AM   #50173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
the best BMR songs are "Intro/Brave Men Run," "Death Valley 69," and "Halloween."

The best Evol songs are... the 9 songs that make up the album proper.


No, the best Evol songs are “Tom Violence,” “Shadow of a Doubt” “Madonna, Sean and Me/Expressway...” and “Starpower.”
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Old 10.03.2017, 01:06 PM   #50174
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btw, I'm not a huge audiophile but Evol is mixed really low on CD. I crank that fucker and it doesn't get loud enough. Anyone else ever notice that? I look forward to a remaster just so I can shake my car windows.
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Old 10.03.2017, 07:43 PM   #50175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evollove
btw, I'm not a huge audiophile but Evol is mixed really low on CD. I crank that fucker and it doesn't get loud enough. Anyone else ever notice that? I look forward to a remaster just so I can shake my car windows.

Yeah, I’m not sure I noticed it was mixed low, but the mixing is off. Not as satisfying as Sister imo, not as dynamic.
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Old 10.03.2017, 10:18 PM   #50176
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Prob cuz of Sister's studio really.
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Old 10.03.2017, 10:57 PM   #50177
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Old 10.04.2017, 02:52 AM   #50178
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Old 10.04.2017, 10:08 AM   #50179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
Prob cuz of Sister's studio really.


Well, I think we can all agree that all of these albums are absolutely integral parts of SY’s evolution, and part of one of the best album runs in the history of music. It really doesn’t matter where you start — whether it’s with self-titled or Confusion, or BMR — every release from this period just flowed perfectly into the next, and built on what was there before while also branching off into strikingly different territory every time.

They didn’t really take a step backward until Goo, and I actually think that’s more of a step sideways. Sounds exactly like the band that made DDN, only on a major label budget.

I don’t know about you guys, but I really like Sonic Youth
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Old 10.04.2017, 02:53 PM   #50180
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i am with Severian on this one. BMR is perfect album.

I can't never decide between Evol and Sister, both are great equally, but man, BMR is mindblowing.
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