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on 23 May 2011
If you're a Sonic Youth fan, you will love this album. If you're not a Sonic Youth fan, you will love this album!
Thurston has crafted a masterpiece with this album of stunning acoustic and electric guitar work, subtle drums, mellow strings and beautiful vocal harmonies.
The songs fit together perfectly as a collection, with more up-tempo and feedback swathed numbers adding a dynamic between the calmer and more delicate tracks; something which is sadly missing from the recently released Demolished Thoughts (although that is also a fine piece of work.)
Stand out songs are opener Frozen Gtr. and the sublime Honest James, but the rest of the album is just as good. There's still space for some experimental, dissonant feedback, but nothing close to any SY album.
For less than £4 you can bag yourself a true, refined masterpiece - GO BUY IT!
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on 15 February 2009
I've only recently discovered this relatively obscure album and wholly agree with the earlier reviews. Its a great guitar album - mostly acoustic but definitely not folky just sublime rock - akin to Dinosaur Jr but with much less emphasis on grungy electric guitar although J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr does play lead guitar on several tracks! Fantastic album.
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on 9 October 2011
There's not really much I can add that has not already been written. I rate it as highly as any Sonic Youth album, and can't really understand why it is not more well known. Can highly recommend to anybody.
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on 27 July 2015
Never a Sonic Youth Fan... Not My (62 Yr-old!) Era - but play and replay this album again & again.. Cool... COOL... COOL!!! Indefinable genre-wise but just ENJOY!!!!!! :-)
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on 28 March 2008
Like Einstürzende Neubauten, Thurston Moore and Sonic Youth have been knocking around for what seems like aeons, and like Einstürzende Neubauten, he (and they) show no signs of going stale. The twenty-first century has even seen Sonic Youth acquire a new pedigree (`Sonic Nurse' and `Rather Ripped' were both superb albums). Similarly, Thurston's `Trees Outside The Academy' has made quite a few people's best-of-year lists, and deservedly so. Solo it may be, but indulgent it is not - this is a suite of sung songs, with the guitars generally veering away from overly-electrified angles, and back-up provided by Samara Lubelski's violin, Steve Shelley's drums, and even Christina Carter's amazing free-form vocals.

The cuts here evince that same self-assured charm that Sonic Youth demonstrated on 1988's unrepeatable marvel `Daydream Nation'- every track unfolds naturally, with guitars, vocals, drums, and violin all in perfect synchrony. The full-on maelstrom often characteristic of that classic work may be missing, but it nonetheless feels so right, and this being Thurston Moore, experimental distortion is not entirely absent, just kept in its place, subordinate to a (slightly) more relaxed ethos. Anyone who considers themselves a Sonic Youth fan will simply have to invest in this superb collection of riffs, vibes and harmonies.
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on 13 October 2007
You'd think it'd be a pretty bleak day when you could compare Thurston Moore, of all musicians, to the placid mellowed acoustic writing of guitarists like Nick Drake. However, much like fellow gods of feedback the Velvet Underground's third album, you could almost be angry at them for selling out into an easier, softer sound, if it wasn't so damned good. Invariably Thurston still stands for alot about the American underground scene to alot of people, and those people may well resent that he's not churning out more Teenage Riots, however they're ignoring what Trees Outside The Academy shouts from it's very first notes; that Moore's sound has matured for the better. The album is both a subtle yet extremely poignant effort. It's unintrusive yet deeply haunting at times- particularly refering to the two standout tracks The Shape Is In A Trance and Silver>Blue. However, overall Moore has crafted a brilliantly freindly and pleasant LP, it's a perfect soundtrack to a lazy afternoon, however don't get the impression this is background music, at least once you'll stop dead in your tracks at the beauty of the songwriting on this record. Strongly Reccomended.
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on 3 December 2014
Great release from Thurston Moore, much more interesting than his accoustic records ...
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on 20 September 2007
Sublime work from Thurston, each play makes me smile from ear to ear.
Indeed the whole concept borders on cinematic and the inclusion of violin is absolutely breathtaking.
For me just talking about it just demeans the infinitude of sublime moments. Flawless construction and execution.
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on 2 March 2008
i bought the album in 2007, and have included it in my list of 2007 faves. i think it is quite harmonic, "familiar environment" songs, one or two are somewhat indulgent, but it somehow becomes acceptable in the overall coziness character of the cd. not innovative, but simple and well crafted, which is already plenty. i would always recommend it!
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on 30 October 2009
Any fans of Sonic Youth should really enjoy this album.
This is a Moore (see what i did there) accessible album than some of his other work, but certainly no less cool.
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