So, with pretty much 25 years under their belts, Sonic Youth return with their upteenth album Rather Ripped, and this reviewer is happy to annouce it's another triumph from the band. As you may have heard, Rather Ripped is made up of a lot more shorter cuts than the band have put out for some time (2004's outstanding Sonic Nurse had only one track under 4 minutes), but the general feeling laid down on that album and 2002's Murray Street continues here untarnished. Yes, the band are more easy going these days, with less moves toward deconstructed noise, but they've rarely sounded so tight. This is the sound of a band with nothing left to prove to anyone, just letting go and doing their thing, and doing it well.
The new material may be their most conformist for a while, what with there being hooks and choruses from time to time, but there is still that bite. This is no M.O.R picnic. Highlights are too many to count and order here. Give it a few listens and you'll be sold. Only the 'UK bonus tracks' feel a little out of step with the rest of the work here, but even then nothing to detract from the album as a whole.
As for whether it's a classic or not, whether it measures up to the limitless nostalgia hoisted upon Daydream Nation, that's really irrelevant. As a listener who enjoys most of their later work as much and often more than their late 80s ventures, Rather Ripped is another excellent addition to a growing number of Sonic Youth releases taking up my CD racks.