Feministing Hearts Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth
Rather Ripped
Geffen Records (2006)
Indie rock legends Sonic Youth burst out of the summer music pack with their latest album, Rather Ripped, to be released June 13 on Geffen Records. Though predictably unpredictable in terms of musical experimentation, the group delivers its characteristic guitar renderings and thoughtful lyricism, appealing to devoted fans and new initiates alike.
The former five-piece has been trimmed to four, as producer and multi-instrumentalist Jim O’Rourke left the band to pursue his film studies. Over the final days of 2005 and into early this year, the band recorded and mixed twelve new songs, each with a touch of sonic splendor and liberation that SY is known for.
Rather Ripped begins with driving tracks “Reena� and “Incinerate� and quickly transitions to curious and midbeat “Do You Believe in Rapture?� The trademark guitar sound is present on “Sleeping Around� and “Turquoise Boy.� Quirky, art-punk verse is found throughout. On “Rats,� a song that speaks of closeness and separation with lyrics such as “You could be my open road/You could be the reason why/You could ease my heavy load/But I’m gonna freeze you out.�
For those familiar with Sonic Youth, the new album doesn’t map much new territory, but for newbies, the only thing you can expect about the noise rock troubadours is their inventiveness. The band’s appearance on the season finale of Gilmore Girls further confirms the group’s status in the mainstream. In sleepy album closer “Or,� co-vocalist Thurston Moore asks, “What comes first, the music or the words?� Thankfully for us, both aspects are present, strong and carry through to the end.
SY+YYYs in an empty Williamsburg pool this August = Y can’t I be a New York girl? Presale tix start in mere hours, so get on with it here.
Peep the song titles and lyrics and stream the album here.

Join the Conversation