Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:
****

SONIC YOUTH
Sonic Nurse
Geffen

Two decades-plus down the line, alt-rock elders make an even better album than usual.

So they're no longer youths, sonic or otherwise--we know that. At mid-career, their disruptive tunings are comfort food, absorbed by far younger alt-rock heirs, and only their large and supportive cult notices the excellent albums they generate every two years. Nevertheless and for whatever it's worth, Sonic Nurse is their most songful release sine the major-label hellos Goo and Dirty, and by most standards their best since 1988's pivotal Daydream Nation. Their tunings are now the stuff of hooks and the glue of their tunes, or at least riffs, which typically proceed for five or six minutes over Steve Shelley's deliberately funkless pulse, sometimes with noisefest appurtenances. Their lyrics are always worth attending--Mariah Carey is the latest diva to attract singer Kim Gordon's unsolicited advice--and never the point. Sonics are the point. Get it?

Blender, June/July 2004