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Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation (33 1/3) Kindle Edition

2.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 15 Mar 2007
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Length: 174 pages

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Product Description

Review

Matthew Stearns is a writer of considerable moxie, possessed if a thoroughly unhinged and seemingly endless thesaurus, and supremely convinced of this album's majesty....After painting the scene for us wherein the band recorded the album (hot New York summer, cramped recording space, a legendarily experimental band at a crux in their career and looking to expand, explosively if necessary) Stearns methodically walks readers through the album itself. Song by song. Line by line. Moment by moment. It's a revelatory construct, particularly for a record as deeply layered in influences and abstractions as Daydream Nation is. Along the way, Stearns gives a helpful overview of the band members themselves (most of whom he appears to have interviewed), annotating how their omnivorous cultural feedings and art-school backgrounds created such an ambition and uncategorizeable piece of work.        --Chris Barsanti, popmatters.com

Review

"'A brilliant series of pocket-sized books focussing on a classic album. Each one a work of real love.' NME"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 239 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 082641740X
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group (15 Mar. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001UFP63A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #349,328 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Daydream Nation" is unquestionably an important record. Sonic Youth fans may argue about the merits of "EVOL" or "Sister" in comparison, but "Daydream Nation" is the one which grabbed the attention of the public and helped usher in a new era where this kind of music could be considered `mainstream' (to all extents and purposes).

Matthew Stearns' book trips at the first hurdle by trying to over-emphasise the impact of the album, when it was impressive enough in the first place. His attempts to paint "Daydream Nation" as some horrifying, avant-garde monster just don't ring true for me. Yes, there are a few difficult moments on the album, but the vocabulary of this album has become such a part of contemporary music that I don't think anyone would be as weirded out at Stearns thinks they would be, particularly from a contemporary stand-point, as he appears to be implying.

However, after this initial grumble, we get stuck into some serious analysis of the songs, and it is here where Stearns excels. Whilst he is prone to the odd bit of flamboyant prose, he really knows what he's talking about and displays a genuine love of the album. It's just a shame that he couldn't let the album rest on its own laurels (of which it is clearly capable of), and had to over-hype it to a degree where it is occasionally un-recognisable.
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Format: Paperback
This book gives you some analysis of Daydream Nation. It's not very interesting or enlightening. The author obviously had the opportunity to speak with both band and production guys. Did he ask them any questions worth asking? No. He didn't.

There are exceptions, such as the story behind Providence.

Believe me, I was as excited about this book as you are. The best SY books I've read are Lee's Jrnls80s and Michael Azerrad's great book Our Band Could Be Your Life.

It seems that the 33 1/3 people get the wrong people to write these books. The Neil Young Harvest one was diabolical. Rant over.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The books in this series on Marquee Moon and You're Living All Over Me helped me put aside any initial scepticism about the idea behind these small publications and about "serious" writing about music. This one reinforced it. Whereas the other two (and the one on Doolittle, from a quick flip-through) actually go into some detail on the creation of the album itself and its context, such as the history of the band and the wider musical environment from which the album emerged, this one is just an extended review. And an utterly tedious and pretentious one at that. Just to open a page and pull a quote at random: "one massive, thrilling, midnight-run that sounds like undiscovered planets (umber, turquoise, and tangerine in color)". It's a good example of how hard and even pointless it often is to write about music itself. Rather than read this author's pseudy analysis of the music and the lyrics, I'd just go and listen to the album.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book serves as both a song-to-song guide of Daydream Nation and an insight into the circumstances under which it was created.
Stearns writes in a personal, frank and humorous way, giving a true feeling for the songs' effects on the listener, rather than being overbearing with notations about the musicological structure. However, it does contain some new facts, as it is well-researched genuinely informative.
The only negative is the sometimes unnecessary over-analysis of decisions which were probably made by Sonic Youth with less thought than Stearns puts into analysing it. (I guess this does have a certain charm in keeping with his excitable writing style.)
Overall, this is a great guide to Daydream; I would recommend it to anyone interested in SY or the album.
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