9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2009
After a few listens this album is really growing on me. The music has a lot of swing and urgency compared to their more recent work. It's lighter and less melancholic, but no less engaging on an emotional level. The guitar work is sparkling and the band is on fine vocal form, especially Kim. The opening three tracks are magic, rip roaring along into a middle few songs employing the sonic's craft and wit to great effect. The last three tracks are stellar, as the soul of the album slowly gives way to the belief that beauty and transcendence are within reach. It's good stuff I reckon.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2009
Sonic Youth are back, sharing songwriting duties out as usual, playing almost exclusively in 4/4 time as usual, alternately tuned as usual, using the same 2 chord verses as usual, doing it their way as usual... and doing it really well.
There aren't really any new ideas here, but all the ideas are really good. Don't think of this as more of the same, think of it as the point that all the previous Sonic Youth albums were leading up to. It isn't groundbreaking, but that's because they've already done all the groundbreaking, they've learned the lessons, now they're just giving us the culmination of all that hard work. And that culmination is 12 new songs, forged out of that Sonic Youth formula, but every second of it is purposeful, every second dripping in sonic pleasure. There are no 10 minute white noise interludes here. Every part of every song is resonant, every guitar chord, every harmony, every note, every feedback squeal is sublime. And every time I listen to it, it sounds different, sounds like I'm hearing it for the first time, makes me think, "I don't recognise this song..."
This is the sound of a truly professional band. It's a masterclass. Effortless, precise, imaginative. Walkin' Blue is definitely the best track on here - instantly one of the best Sonic Youth songs ever - but every single one of the rest are very close behind.
I don't know now, whether to give it 4 or 5 stars. I don't give 5 very often, and I was thinking about giving it 4, but I feel bad since two people have given it 5 already. Also, what really constitutes a 5 star album? A simple definition would be one on which you like all the songs - which I do. I like them quite a lot. It's just hard to quantify your fondness for a product I've only had for a couple of weeks - especially when you consider that I've had the other Sonic Youth albums for years. Is it too soon to decide I like it that much? Am I being too cautious? Can I put it on an equal footing with Goo and Washing Machine? Eh, why not. 5 it is.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2009
After only a few listens so far I'm very pleased with this album. From the opening track 'Sacred Trickster' right through to 'Massage The History' just about every tune is a winner.
On the whole, The Eternal quite simply rocks. The tunes are catchy and melodic with just enough edge, although overall a lot less dissonant than what we have come to expect from Sonic Youth.
In some ways this is as close to a 'pop' album we're likely to hear by them ... but don't let that put you off.
Some stand-out tunes include:
- Sacred Trickster
- Leaky Lifeboat
- What We Know
- Calming The Snake
- Malibu Gas Station
- Thunderclap for Bobby Pyn
Although I expect the likes of Daydream Nation and Dirty will always be personal favourites of mine, The Eternal is a very welcome addition indeed, and surely one of their best albums for a while.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2009
Sonic Youth are many things to different people, early 80's no wave noise merchants, late 80's indie chart stars, early 90's grunge scene rockers, late 90's coming of age (with REM collaborations), early 00's O'rourke improv and onto to what we have now; which is still great garage rock based tracks that have that unique 'Sonic Youth' soundform. Carrying on from their previous 2006 Rather Ripped we have here some pretty straight forward songs and tracks, Walkin Blue is a fine example and is my fave track here although I think this is a very strong release with not much filler material. Great CD sleeve artwork selections this time too. Sonic Youth; eternal rockers and then some.....
on 25 November 2009
Someone has already written here that this album isn't really groundbreaking because Sonic Youth have already done all the groundbreaking anybody could be expected to do. Well, that's true. Their detunings and noisy breaks now have an almost trademark sound. But that's the point: despite their incalculable influence on music, no one sounds quite like Sonic Youth. Their sound is in those detunings but it's also in the amazing songwriting on their latest record. Like the Ramones, they may have a trademark sound but that doesn't stop them from exploring new structures across the traditional 4/4 time. Who else is doing this really? Or who else has been doing such great stuff for such a long time?
The Eternal is their best album since 1995's Washing Machine.
on 23 August 2012
The evolution of Sonic Youth took a convincing direction with this master piece of album "The Eternal". Known and popular for reinventing rock music is a noisy and fury way now they have come to create even chilled tracks and lovely pop songs on this album. Without forgetting their roots in punk which still shine through in every song. The vocals have become more warm, still it's the combination of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore that make the cocktail of this band so tasty! The are already eternal for my, but even though their relationship broke I still hope for a reunion of this band to continue their story eternally!