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REVIEW I SUBMITTED TO MUSIC GEEK CLUB
on 29 April 2012
I attend a monthly music club in Cardiff and April's classic album selected for discussion was 'Dirty' by Sonic Youth and I thought I may as well submit my thoughts on this forum.....
I gave the album 7 out of 10 so the question was...3 or 4 stars. I opted for 4 because the album did get better the more I listened to it.
I've always liked and admired Sonic Youth since I first heard them on John Peel in the mid 80s. Indeed, 'Schizophrenia' from their 'Sister' album remains one of my favourite songs from that decade by anyone. But try as I might, I just cannot love them. I think the reason for that is that SY just don't have enough tunes. They seem to favour noise and experimentalism over melody whereas my pallette is geared to the balance being the other way around. SY's contemporaries, for example, Husker Du, Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins and, of course, Nirvana, concentrated more on melody than noise and it is no coincidence that those I bands I love.
That said, Dirty does have enough good tunes for me to register a positive rating as there are only about 4 or 5 songs on it that I would consider as virtually unlistenable leaving enough tracks to get your ears around which range between ok to very good. Standouts for me include a brace that I remember from John Peel's Festive 50 programme from the early 90s - 'Sugar Kane' and 'Youth Against Fascism'. Also, 'Theresa's Sound World', 'Wish Fulfillment' and 'Chapel Hill'. For those of you thinking of trying out Sonic Youth, I would say this album is a good place to start. Others in the music club suggested Goo, from the year before, as also being amongst their more accessible works.