Rather Ripped (2006)
|Artist: Sonic Youth|
|In 2005 it was time for Sonic Youth to record a new CD to bust out for 2006. Before they did they revisited awesome Japan, toured the boroughs of New York, rollicked at the first Arthurfest in L.A., and released the special deluxe edition of GOO. After one final gnarl out in Brazil w/ Flaming Lips, The Stooges and others Mr. Jim O'Rourke decided to concentrate full-time on his Japanese studies of language and film and SY was subsequently back to it's OG nucleus of Kim-Thurston-Lee-Steve. Songs were written, Jim recommended engineer TJ Doherty and J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr) recommended mix engineer John Agnello and SY created the oddly titled Rather Ripped. The whole deal was recorded in the waning hours of 05 into the dawn sunshine of 06 at the venerable Sear Sound studios in NYC's fading theatre district. Partially mixed there and at Hoboken, NJ's Water Music by the golden juice ear of John Agnello it exhibits SY in positive vibration mode. 12 songs of forward motion and harmonic/melodic surprise. Vocals shared by the frontline of Thurston, Kim and Lee with Steve groove gluing the rhythms into rock n roll infection.
They bust out o' the sonic barn with Incinerate and Reena then contemplate holy war mind games with Do You Believe in Rapture? and keep cruising strong with track after track of risk-laden rock jammers until floating out with the curious Or.
This is a straight-up Sonic Youth field on fire, with a compact potency of rock n roll enlightenment. Rather ripped, hell yeh.
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Sonic Youth: Kim Gordon (vocals, guitar, bass guitar); Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore (vocals, guitar); Steve Shelley (drums).|
|Audio Mixer: John Agnello.|
|Recording information: Bisquiteen, Amherst, MA (12/2005-02/2006); Echo Canyon, New York, NY (12/2005-02/2006); Sear Sound, New York, NY (12/2005-02/2006).|
|Photographer: Amanda de Cadenet.|
|Sonic Youth's turn-of-the-century output has shown a marked focus on the more abstract aspects of the band's sound, as evidenced by, if nothing else, the prolific number of experimental releases on the band's SYR imprint, including the double-album tribute to avant-garde composers, GOODBYE 20TH CENTURY. And while to use the phrase "stylistic departure" is unbefitting of a band with such catholic tastes and influences, the straightforward pop element that marks 2006's RATHER RIPPED, the band's 14th proper studio album, is so pronounced and, to a certain extent, jarring, it's difficult not to focus in on it. From the Thin Lizzy-like twin-guitar interlude on "Incinerate" to the gentle lullaby melody of "Do You Believe in the Rapture" (arguably the loveliest song Sonic Youth has produced since "Diamond Sea") to Kim Gordon's newfound pop croon on the opener, "Reena," and "Turquoise Boy," the band hasn't made a record with this many fun, enjoyable tunes in years. Of course, accessible is a relative word when discussing Sonic Youth, and by no means has the band lost its edge. Even at its most poppy, Sonic Youth still twist and gnarl any rock troupe they encounter. But on RATHER RIPPED, the band that essentially created noise rock have once again placed the rock front and center.|
Producer: John Agnello; Sonic Youth; John Agnello
Engineer: John Agnello; Lee Ranaldo; TJ Doherty; Chris Allen; Aaron Mullan
|Project-Anthology of American Folk Music|
|Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Ost)|
|Bridge School Concerts 25Th Ann Ed|
Associated Artists and Works
|Connors, Loren Mazzacane|
|Vitamin String Quartet|
|Release Date : 06/13/2006|
|Original Release Date : 2006|
|Catalog ID : 0006757|
|Label : Geffen|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00602498563731|
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n excellent record, one of the strongest to emerge from Sonic Youth's amazing late period. Thurston Moore dominates....The guitars ring out with a sense of emotional urgency..."
- Ranked #3 in Rolling Stone's "The Top 50 Albums Of 2006" -- "[A] light, simple, terse, almost-pop album."
- Ranked #22 in Spin's "The 40 Best Albums of 2006" -- "[T]heir 20th release extends the most comfortable hot streak in rock history, locating a few more nooks in a self-invented sound that no one else inhabits."
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir most mature album to date, with songs taking centre stage and guitar squall used more selectively."
- "RATHER RIPPED is the sound of a band no longer setting their distortion pedals on stun, and, as a result, the best songs are as low-key as a small town on Sunday morning."
- "RATHER RIPPED turns out to be filled with delicate, pretty songs devoid of squall and doused in mellow melody."
- "While it seems improbably that Sonic Youth have fully mellowed, RATHER RIPPED finds them at home with some old fashioned rock verities."
- "[A] clean collection of smart guitar songs that are low on the trademark-feedback tsunamis of old but high on skewed pop melodies of a Fugazi bent..."
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "RATHER RIPPED is a concise collection of melodious, and pretty straightforward songs: light of touch, compact in construction, sweet on the ear."