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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 22 August 2000
I personally thought that this was an extremely accessible album, though a tad long. Songs such as Teenage Riot, Silver Rocket and Total Trash will enter your head and refuse to leave, while some of the Kim Gordon sung ones (the Sprawl) might take a few listens. Just buy it. It was the first Sonic Youth album i bought, and though it isn't really a typical one (since all of their albums are totally different) it is as good an introdction as any, one of the first they did with proper song structure. For less developed songs try Sister the album before this, for more song orientated noise, try Goo, their Geffin debut which came after it.
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on 1 September 2007
Originally released in 1988, before Sonic Youth had signed to Geffen, and they were still knee-deep in harsh noise-punk, "Daydream Nation" was, even then, seen as an incredible record, one that would net them a major label, and, nearly 20 years later, it hasn't lost any of its quality. Opener "Teenage Riot" is still full of rock 'n' roll swagger, and the furious "Silver Rokcet" packs a heavy punch. "The Sprawl", along with "Total Trash" shows the band's skill for jazz-like improvisation, and "'Cross The Breeze" showcases Kim Gordon's most intense vocal performance. "Candle" and "Kissability" are perfect pop songs, "Eric's Trip", "Hey Joni", and "Rain King" are bolstered along by Lee Ranaldo's almost story-telling delivery. Hell, even "Providence" (a piano solo, over-heating amp and answering machine messages) manages to excite. It all ends with "Trilogy", a 14-minute epic, that shows the band were never afraid to go all-out and aim to thrill. All this, along with a new disc of the entire album played live, makes it worthy to anyone - a big Sonic Youth fan; someone who's listened to the record maybe once before - maybe even 20 years ago; someone who only knows Sonic Youth by "Teenage Riot" or "Bull In The Heather"; or maybe someone who's only just heard of the band. This is still a revolutionary album, and deserves to be a part of your collection, if it already isn't.
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on 20 November 2002
I put this on when I'm doing the washing up (you care?). It warms my toes with waves of rhythm from another room. every so often i go to catch a particular refrain, "Accross the Breeze" accelerating into a frenzy, say. By the time I've got back, the water's cold, grease skein on cup disaster, redo from start.
I'm easily captivated by rhythm, like "Sister Ray" this baby's got slabs of it, and it crescendos in and out of phase with my attention until mesmerically, I'm part of the mood, and feeling space age and dirty.
They may have made a true cyber-punk album, to blast the following Rage Against the Machine's into yesteryear.
So far from Happy, so close to joyful. The human condition.
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on 10 June 2015
If you are new to Sonic Youth you should and also probably should not start here. It's just so massive that it's hard to take it all in, not just in its length but in its scope, ambition and in hindsight its significance, too. There were a lot of great American guitar bands around in the same era; Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Throwing Muses, Big Black, but no-one did anything like this. It's a crossing point really; still enough harshness and cutting edge artistry in Lee Ranaldo's guitar-as-orchestra noise-storms to keep it firmly in left field but with enough melodic sheen to make it fairly accessible. It's the juxtaposition of the two that makes this work so well; the moments in which something of shining beauty gradually emerges from a maelstrom of feedback, distortion and just noise are truly sublime and what makes listening to Sonic Youth a sometimes transcendent experience. You can really lose yourself in this epic album and it's a great place to be.
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on 21 February 2003
Sonic Youth began life in 1982. From then on, they put out various albums, well recieved in independent circles, but never really made it big. Every single album was different, yet they all followed the same mould - moments of power, beauty, and some hard to get into noise. In 1988, Sonic Youth changed all that. Starting off with the anthemic Teen Age Riot, it contains such radio friendly 'unit shifters' as 'Candle', 'Silver Rocket' and 'Eric's Trip'. Many albums cover all bases in the sense that some songs are noisy, and some are quiet and majestic. This album delivers that, but in single songs. Classics like 'Total Trash'start out peacefully and turn into noisefests. This is a classic album that you'll want to listen to again + again.
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on 7 March 2005
Forget "revolver", the "the bends" or "pet sounds"; "Daydream Nation" should head every greatest album of all time poll. Ok, Sonic Youth are hardly ever going to appeal to a mass audience and sell millions of records, you may never have heard of them, but that is not what music is about. Daydream Nation is the culmination of a band whose fortre was the reproduction of deafening noise ala David Lynch themetunes, and 4 albums on progressively applying this to a more melodic and streamlined pop structure. Daydream Nation is the finest album from (arguably) the greatest innovators in pop music since the Beatles. Songs such as "Hey Joni", "Silver Rocket" and "Eric's Trip" are infectiously catchy yet clothed in textured guitar distortions. Kim Gordon's songs "'cross the breeze" and "Kissability" are shrouded in female rage and angst but yet display the textual subtleties and complexities of the band's guitar playing. "Teenage Riot" could be the album's masterpiece, as close to a dance along, sing along song the band ever recorded at a sprawling length of 7 minutes. But thats what the album does, it sprawls, in all its beauty and essentially no song stands above all others as "schizophrenia" does on the previous "sister". And then there is the epic "trilogy", with 3 songs which merge perfectly into one and sees the albums end in an apocalypse of guitars and Kim Gordon. The album is a 70 minute love affair with the electric guitar, which is more accessible than anything they had done before and sees the band delve ever closer to pop whilst being obsessed with the art of feedback and distortion. Daydream Nation is self consciously cool, arty and damned right sexy, in being so it is a masterpiece that so far has not been bettered and i can not foresee that happening in the near future.
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on 30 December 2003
This album has got to be a turning point for music. It has the pop accessibility of the later Sonic Youth albums and some great expressive noise like the earlier albums. There are "essential" songs like "teenage riot" which everyone goes on about: it's true, it is a great song. Some of my favourite SY songs are on this album. take a gander at "total trash", "candle", "silver rocket", the aforementioned "teenage riot", "hey joni" and the trilogy songs. This is more instrumental than a lot of SY albums so if your more of a fan of pop melodies checking out one of the later albums such as "Goo" or "Dirty" might be a better idea but if you're open-minded this is a good album to start with. if you already like SY then you should definitely get this album. I also recommend the "Sister" album.
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on 30 May 2011
I would recommend the deluxe version of this album - The live disc itself is previously unreleased. - Recorded in the usa 1988-1989-
It's a crystal clear recording that really shows the band off in their full glory with minimal audience interference & even though the performances are taken from several shows it comes over cohesive in terms of sound quality.

Daydream itself sounds mighty & for me & Sonic yoth ,,,

This is really as good as it gets.

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on 28 September 2007
I've been seeing a lot of fuss about this record recently, especially since Sonic Youth played it in it's entirety at a festival in the US this summer. I've had this record for quite a long time now, but I'm afraid the penny has never quite dropped for me. I keep returning to it every once in a while just to see if I'm ever going to join that legion of SY fans and critics who believe this is a masterpiece. To be honest, I don't think it's going to happen. I just don't really understand why it's this SY album that is considered to be so groundbreaking, when earlier records "Evol" and "Sister" are to my mind more varied, more interesting and even more revolutionary.

For me, Daydream Nation is a little one-dimensional. There is little outside of the same muddy and droning guitar sound, and the production is far less subtle and has less clarity than other SY releases. It's over-long, rambling and flat.

Sure, there are one or two "nice" moments, but on my favourite SY records there are more than a few moments that amaze me. There's only really one thing that grabs me on this whole thing, and that's the final part of "Trilogy". So not only is it the last track on the record, it's 11 and a half minutes INTO the last track of the record.

I'm happy for you if Daydream Nation floats your boat. Sure, I don't like it, but I love Sonic Youth, so this is just going to be the one that got away for me. I still own it, so I'll come back to it from time to time, but if like me, you don't love this record... there's plenty of other SY records that you probably will love. For me it's "Confusion is Sex", "Evol", "Sister", "Goo", and "Washing Machine".
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on 16 May 2010
A double play C.D. so well worth the cash,from track one to last track..'Sonic Youth' at the pinnacle of their career..Buy this!! Top C.D.
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