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Sustaining his remarkable creativity,
This review is from: Trees Outside the Academy (Audio CD)
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.