A Jim O' Rourke-less Sonic Youth make their most mature album yet, the strangely named Rather Ripped; their 20th. A collection of songs that are raw Sonic poppiness distilled; this record sees them celebrating the rock and roll songform while singing about sweet liberation and perfect sin. Lush guitar melodies and sing along choruses make this album one of their most accessible; and fun; yet, while Do You Believe In Rapture? and Or showcase a throbbing minimalist Sonic Youth who expound abstractedly over the barest of instrumentation. A record that is best enjoyed as a trilogy of classic rock-inspired albums; together with Murray Street and Sonic Nurse; though Rather Ripped is by far the most stripped down and ethereal of the three. A hilarious and offbeat companion lyric book can be found online (and only online) at the Sonic Youth webpage, pieced together by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. This is also their last obligatory album for Geffen Records according to their contract.
Here is the tracklisting:
- Do You Believe In Rapture?
- Sleepin Around
- What A Waste
- Jams Run Free
- Turquoise Boy
- Lights Out
- The Neutral
- Pink Steam
European CD Bonus tracks:
UK CD Bonus tracks:
The track 'Helen Lundeberg' can also currently be found for downloading exclusively at the Apple iTunes Music Store.
There is also a vinyl release by the band's own Goofin' Records.
The artwork for the both the CD and vinyl versions of the album are done by Christopher Wool.
A small collection of some reviews on the World Wide Web with regards to Rather Ripped:
Robert Christgau - http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0623,christgau,73468,22.html
All Music Guide - http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:zt6m96boaep1
Guardian Unlimited - http://arts.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,,1788049,00.html
Pitchfork Media - http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/36646/Sonic_Youth_Rather_Ripped
PopMatters - http://www.popmatters.com/pm/music/reviews/sonic-youth-rather-ripped/
Dusted Magazine - http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/2962
Stylus Magazine - http://www.stylusmagazine.com/reviews/sonic-youth/rather-ripped.htm