Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Sonic Youth: Battery Park, NYC: July 4th 2008 [Matador, 2019]
Having enjoyed this free concert at a well-shaded distance, I'd best attest that my rave can't be nostalgia because this is more intense than what I remember. Played back to back with 1989's Daydream Nation, which provides half its 10 titles, or the live Daydream Nation pieced together for the 2007 "Deluxe Edition," it holds its own--the guitars sharper, more abrasive, higher in pitch. No doubt newish bassist Mark Ibold enhances this effect by relieving Thurston and Lee of the need to augment his low end as they sometimes did with Kim on bass--which in turn may well free her to dominate vocally even more than she did before. Knowing the bitter breakup that already lies in wait for this great band, it's fitting that the cover photo depicts Kim singing alone and up front. This was her record. A