Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Washing Machine
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 26 April 2010
After a brief flirtation with the mainstream with albums Goo and Dirty, they followed up with the poorly received Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star. This album is denser than the 3 aforementioned albums, with more layers to decipher.

The album opens with blistering opener becuz. It's sung by Kim Gordon, but her more dissonant tendencies are kept in check here. It's a good driving rock song with a fair degree of squalling guitar noise in the bridge. Later in the song there is a great melodic outttro. Junkie's Promise follows, a sort of tough number sung by Thurston Moore. The album becomes calmer with Lee Ranaldo's Saucer-Like which features great guitar work before a dischordant ending.

After the noisy title track, things get calmer still with Thurston's unwind. The odd nursery rhyme sounding Little Trouble Girl follows, featuring not only Kim Gordon but also Kim Deal (Pixies). The melody of this is rather child-like, and something which I can't explain about the tone of Deal's vocals sounds very 90s.

After some noisy, more difficult tracks the album finishes with the 19 minute long opus that is The Diamond Sea. It starts off as a fairly conventional Thurston rock song, with a good melody and nice guitar parts, before the guitars take over and transform the song into a kind of noise piece. It's kind of in the vein of the Velvet Underground's Sister Ray, except with a sweeter melody and less drug references.
Washing Machine is a lot less immediate than Sonic Youth's early 90s album. It's dense and can be hard work to listen to, but it's an important step on the journey to the artist they have become.
11 Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 31 July 2013
This album is 5 stars and then some, I have had this in my collection for around 10 yrs now, its one I keep going back to over all the s y albums..and now at last after loads of plays it absorbs me in and takes me over, you realise that this isn't a record of random songs put together..but a whole musical experience that just seems to perfectly flow and draw you in like few albums can do ..amazing.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 August 2006
I'm surprised there aren't more reviews posted here for this brilliant album. Everyone and his mother knows that 1988's seminal Daydream Nation is a solid-gold alternative rock classic, but it isn't the only great Sonic Youth album and it's not even my personal favourite. I reckon that 1995's Washing Machine is one of their strongest, most fully realised works to date.

There are a few relatively poppy and straightforward moments on the record - the striking Kim Gordon-sung opener Becuz, the lovely and melodic Unwind, the sweet 60s girl-pop pastiche of Little Trouble Girl. But unlike the more compact and concise punk/grunge songs of the Goo and Dirty era, Washing Machine is largely an album of sprawling, trancelike, free-form guitar epics. Therefore it's probably closer in spirit to Daydream Nation, with a hint of Teutonic art rock like Neu! and Can thrown into the mix. It takes some getting used to, sure, but gradually the pastoral textures and droning feedback achieve a startling, powerful beauty. This is never more evident than on the nine-minute title track and the symphonic, 19-minute closer The Diamond Sea, which is surely one of the most exquisite pieces of rock music in recent decades.

Washing Machine is a rich, intense listening experience. Once you get into the hang of it, it becomes one of Sonic Youth's most addictive records. So strap on your headphones and drift away.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 May 2011
I have about 13 SY albums but this is the one I come back to the most. Sure, it's not for everyone, but if it was it would probably be crap. Its an album that's hard to describe; you just have to listen to it and then love it or hate it. It works for me.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 6 March 2011
Due to the fact this is a sprawling album which flows erratically, and contains compositions of fluctuating quality, it is easy to liken `Washing Machine' to `The White Album' (albeit an uncompromisingly alternative version of The White Album). I say this mainly because of the variety of the songs exhibited here, which showcase different sides of the band's sound, along with both albums' vertiginous scale of ambition.

The opener 'Becuz' starts the album in typically claustrophobic manner (it's no surprise Geffen Records objected to its original six-minute form, and promptly gave it a trim). This is swiftly followed by 'Junkie's Promise,' which at least attempts more of a verse-chorus structure, yet is sneered with contempt by Thurston Moore (who contends the song is NOT about Monsieur Cobain) to ensure the band's fierce indie credibility remains intact.

'Saucer-Like' is one of Lee's songs and it begins with a guitar that escalates madly like a kite caught by a strong gust of wind which refuses to be tied down. Surprisingly though, the backing vocals on the chorus turn out to be quite melodic, although it's hardly vintage SY.

The title track however, sparks the band and the album into life: the opening few minutes being a frenetic, almost funky workout, with Kim growling about soda-pops and the like. Gradually, this section fades out and is replaced with something that sounds altogether different in terms of tonality, but no less impressive. A more driving Krautrock beat and bass-line enters the mix, Kim's vocals abandon their coarseness and instead sing with wide-eyed wonder; Soon enough the guitars statically sizzle like blinding rays of sun.

If all brilliant nine minutes of that isn't enough, the gorgeous `Unwind' is captivating: its poetic lyrics and glimmering guitars making it a standout, whilst foreshadowing the band's later work on albums such as `Murray Street'.

`Little Trouble Girl' is unlike anything the band ever recorded; a homage to fifties girl-groups. The melody is so innocent, but, juxtaposed against the eerie arrangement of the music, it creates a rather unsettling effect. Ultimately though, it culminates in one of the band's most memorable moments. Ex-Pixies bassist Kim Deal's vocals steal the show, just as she so often did with her former band.

The amalgamation of profanity and swagger on `No Queen Blues', as well as the decidedly unsexy grunting and chugging on `Panty Lies' dispel any notion that the band are going too soft on the album. But the album doesn't seem to be heading anywhere, with the ambient but arbitrary `Untitled' and the lacklustre lyrics of `Skip Tracer'.

However, if Daydream Nation is considered their best album, then `The Diamond Sea' still betters it as the band's indisputable magnum opus. Easily the most melodic song the band ever crafted, (although- ever unconventional- they decided to make it the longest song they ever crafted too) the finale has plenty of downright beautiful moments, along with downright ear-splitting moments (check out the final release of feedback at 18:29; it's like the nightmarish sensation of being sucked out of an aeroplane after its window has been smashed in). Even the obtuse lyrics and cracked vocals are nothing short of exemplary.

So all in all, Washing Machine stands as one of the most challenging albums by one of America's most musically challenging bands. But that doesn't make it an absolute classic. Having said that, the album's highlights are among the band's finest works, (compensating for the album's faults, which do, concededly, occupy more than half the album). Nonetheless, the album is worth getting, if only for Unwind, The Diamond Sea and the title track - which may sound silly, but then that's about 35 minutes of music in itself! This isn't for beginners: if you like louder Sonic Youth go for Goo or Dirty, for the quainter material go for Murray Street. But for anyone who enjoys challenging, yet rewarding albums, there are very few better candidates than Washing Machine.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 February 2008
My favorite Sonic Youth album.

It has everything you could wish for- barbaric yet funky riffs, Kim in ever more messed-up character, an orgasmic drone-rock sunrise in the middle of the title track, a grotesque gavotte (Panty Lies), an astonishingly touching lyrical number that looks ahead to Murray Street (Unwind), and a huge grunge-mess ending.

I am still coming to terms with how wonderful this album is.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 February 2002
Don't forget 'Washing Machine' itself. I used to think 'The Diamond Sea' was my favourite song ever (risky), but this title track always sounds better than the last time.
Part way through, the pretty funky song stops (which is a good thing if you get annoyed by Kim's voice), and drifts away to some other place (like a big field, for example). The beat turns into a more purposeful 'dring-dring-dring-dring', as the guitar builds the texture up from a single note. The lead guitar then starts soaring, as the background texture just builds and builds on this one note. Without you noticing, the notes just disappear into pure white noise. It's like staring into the sun, when all you can hear are these beautiful, smooth clouds of static and feedback and distortion. And when youre done, the clouds politely begin to drop down through harmonics, until you are left with a single note being played repeatedly on the guitar. 'The Diamond Sea' is similar in this kind of build up, with soaring guitars, but the actual noise isnt as impressive. It has more distinct parts, even though soaking wet with distortion and feedback and fuzz.
Anyway, I love pretty much everything Sonic Youth have ever done (which is, again, a dubious statement), and if you are remotely interested by all this noise ive been rambling about, look into them, especially this album (which is the most beautiful), and 'Confusion is Sex' (a noisy one).
While im here... 'Evol' is beautiful, but cheesy in places, as well as noisy; 'Sister' is classic SY (which means pretty cheesy and rocky, but with that edge of some other place); 'Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star' is my favourite album, because it is the most beautifully kool; 'A Thousand Leaves' is a good one to get you started - there are some chilled jams on there which anyone will like, and you'll begin to love SY when you get into the less listener-friendly tracks; 'Confusion is Sex' is the koolest album ever - it is so mean and so not fun - a work of nasty emotions; 'Goo' is pretty classy - very distinct SY sound, with lots of amazing sounds to be found if you listen carefully - the songs have many layers; 'Sonic Death' is a bit like 'Confusion...' - for the true fan (though i say so myself); 'Dirty' is genuinely kool, and less cheesy, bit still Sonic Youthy; 'Daydream Nation' is like Goo; 'Bad Moon Rising' is early stuff - cheesy, but pretty emotional...
Woah, sorry, they have done quite a few albums. More people should like them, quite frankly, I feel so very sad and lonely.
0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 4 September 2015
I have every Sonic Youth and spin off releases and this is the worst one. It is a lazy album, worth having for the first and last track, but the rest are just meandering doodles. The last two tracks are inferior versions of daydream nation ideas and the Kim Gordon led tracks are shameless redrafts of earlier material.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 31 May 2008
Alright now, I stumbled upon this item and was AMAZED that it got just 5 star reviews. I've been a long time SY fan (but not a huge one), I own over 10 of their albums and I have to say, this one is my least favorite. It's dumb, it's stupid. What were they thinking? What are you guys (rating it with 5 stars) thinking? What am I missing here?????

For me, the only good moment of the record is "The diamond Sea", only that it's totally tortured by its length (15 minutes, 20???? how long is this song anyway??????)

2 Stars are more than enough.
22 Comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 October 2015
Cool price
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Need customer service? Click here