Rather Ripped

Studio Album by released in 2006

Rather Ripped review

Sonic Youth has given up most of their experiments

Sonic Youth is a rock group formed in New York in 1981 comprising guitarists and vocalists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo who also plays organ, bassist, guitarist and vocalist Kim Gordon and drummer Steve Shelley. The band is considered one of the leading alternative rockers and has a number of successful albums including Murray Street of 2002 and Sonic Nurse of 2004. In the middle of the 1990s their music was often referred to as experimental for the variety of instruments used and a dissonance distinctly heard in it. In June 2006 Sonic Youth’s latest album Rather Ripped was released. Moore has written the majority of tracks on the record and there are a number of short, conventionally structured melodic songs with fewer improvisations than on the previous works. Yet it is the band’s most energetic, impetuous and frank record which witnesses that Sonic Youth has given up most of their experiments often hard to listen and became a hit creating modern rock band. The vocals of the singers sound more mature, and the guitar parts by Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo have gained some new features that definitley improve the sounding of Sonic Youth. Without a doubt Rather Ripped can be called the best rock album this year.

Rather Ripped is just as a real rock album should be

The first word that comes to the mind while listening to Rather Ripped is ‘rock’. The way the musicians are playing and quite relaxed confident vocals on mostly joyful songs and some lyrical ballads make up a really enjoyable record. The quiet and melodious opener Reena prepares for and the following song Incinerate, a more emotional and up-tempo one. Do You Believe In Rapture? is a relatively slow ballad not devoid of the Sonic Youth’s favorite strums and heartbeat drums. The electric sounding of Sleepin Around reminds of the band’s earlier works as well as the catchy chorus on Rats. One of the album’s standouts is the stylish and sexy track Turquoise Boy performed by Kim Gordon, the electric guitars are especially good here and the drums give the song a capturing rhythm. One of the most melodious tracks on Rather Ripped is Pink Steam, it presents several minutes of soothing symphonic guitar work and has quite bold lyrics that might shock the most sensitive hearers. The album closes with a light relaxing ballad Or, leaving one with a feeling of calmness and serenity after listening to quite a light though having some tough elements rock music. Rather Ripped is just as a real rock album should be: light on sensitive ballads and heavy on more vigorous tracks.

New horizons for Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth can be called a real rock legend: it has a long history, it is distinguished for a seemingly careless style and the front singers have not changed since the very beginning of the band’s existence. After trying their hand at improvising and writing unusually long sings, the members of the band have decided to calm themselves down and record a more radio friendly album. Of course they haven’t absolutely refused of using strange rasping strings on the background of relaxed, at times almost murmuring vocals. Rather Ripped is definitely the album of Sonic Youth, it’s just less provoking and more pleasant for the ear. The fans have appreciated the fact that the band has turned to the elements of pop that have already been present on some previous works, and this time they sound more finished and carefully produced. Thus Rather Ripped is a great combination of resonance and dissonance, of distinct tunes on instruments and sometimes almost speaking vocals, of clear rock and catchy pop music. Sonic Youth has once again claimed it is not afraid of experimenting and honestly confessed its thirst for searching new directions in their music. Rather Ripped has opened new horizons for Sonic Youth and we can only guess what sound the following creations may appear to have.