Murray Street

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Given the circumstances surrounding its creation, the 14th proper studio album from these envelope-pushing NYC stalwarts is surprisingly subtle, even serene sounding. Murray Street takes its name from the thoroughfare that houses Sonic Youth's recording studio -- a space situated less than three blocks from Ground Zero, which meant that the band was locked out of its musical home for weeks during the post-9/11 aftermath. For a band known for extensive musical journeys, the experience seems to have prompted travels inward, as evidenced on songs like the Neil Young-flavored "Disconnection Notice" and the title track, which alternates between starry-eyed and fretful ...
See more details below
Vinyl LP
$18.04
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$18.99 List Price
Other sellers (Vinyl LP)
  • All (2) from $17.50   
  • New (2) from $17.50   

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Given the circumstances surrounding its creation, the 14th proper studio album from these envelope-pushing NYC stalwarts is surprisingly subtle, even serene sounding. Murray Street takes its name from the thoroughfare that houses Sonic Youth's recording studio -- a space situated less than three blocks from Ground Zero, which meant that the band was locked out of its musical home for weeks during the post-9/11 aftermath. For a band known for extensive musical journeys, the experience seems to have prompted travels inward, as evidenced on songs like the Neil Young-flavored "Disconnection Notice" and the title track, which alternates between starry-eyed and fretful assays into Big Apple life. The guitar interplay -- which now incorporates new full-time member Jim O'Rourke, who's guested on the band's recent efforts -- is fascinating on songs like "Rain on Tin": Rather than the dissonance that often emanates from their extended forays, there's an ethereal openness, redolent of early Grateful Dead and Quicksilver. Yes, there are still tracks of total abandon, such as "Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style," which features the fearsome saxophone honking of Borbetomagus's Don Dietrich and Jim Sauter, but those are secreted like depth charges rather than lobbed like grenades. Gentle but not overweeningly smooth, Murray Street abounds with sonic vistas that demand repeated visits.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Virtually every album Sonic Youth has released since the underrated Goo has been hailed as a return to form. However, Murray Street, their second collaboration with Jim O'Rourke and their first with him as a full member of the group, not only recalls their past glories but explores new territory. Freed from the trendy agendas that marred A Thousand Leaves and NYC Ghosts & Flowers, the group revisits the complex, transcendent guitar epics that made them underground rock heroes in the first place. But Murray Street doesn't just rehash the sound of their late-'80s heyday, either; for the most part, epics like the '60s-tinged "The Empty Page" and "Rain on Tin" -- which sounds a bit like a rural cousin to Television's "Marquee Moon" -- are built on surprisingly clean, crisp guitar tones that only explode into occasional noise-storms. Indeed, the guitar work on the album's first three tracks is both economical and sensual, a feast of textures and counterpoints that never sounds overdone. Murray Street's wonderfully natural yet intricate sound is O'Rourke's most distinctive contribution to the group; while his work with Smog and Wilco pushed those groups to be more experimental and eclectic, with Sonic Youth he seems to give those tendencies focus and balance. Even the hypnotic drones at the end of "Karen Revisited," the album's noisy, oddly romantic centerpiece, have a unique precision and clarity. Murray Street's first four songs rank among the most consistent, and consistently exciting, work in Sonic Youth's career, so much so that the album's shorter, more rock-oriented songs feel a bit anticlimactic. "Plastic Sun," a Kim Gordon-sung rant, feels particularly out of keeping with the rest of Murray Street's warm, expansive tone; "Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style" is a typical Sonic Youth rocker that suffers merely from not being as good as the first half of the album. Closing with the serenely sexy "Sympathy for the Strawberry," Murray Street reaffirms that at the group's best, Sonic Youth manages to sound fresh and timeless all at once.
New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
"Murray Street" achieves a cryptic contemplative mood. The approach is familiar, but the music itself is still mysterious. The band insists that listeners explore the pleasures of tone and texture -- small pleasures, perhaps, but not simple ones.
Entertainment Weekly - Will Hermes
A near-perfect, guitar-shaped phoenix. (A-)

"Murray Street" achieves a cryptic contemplative mood. The approach is familiar, but the music itself is still mysterious. The band insists that listeners explore the pleasures of tone and texture -- small pleasures, perhaps, but not simple ones.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/25/2002
  • Label: Smells Like Records
  • UPC: 787996800417
  • Catalog Number: 4
  • Sales rank: 29,888

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sonic Youth Primary Artist
Lee Ranaldo Vocals, Group Member
Kim Gordon Vocals, Group Member
Thurston Moore Vocals, Group Member
Jim O'Rourke Group Member
Jim Sauter Horn
Steve Shelley Group Member
Donald Dietrich Horn
Technical Credits
Sonic Youth Producer
John Golden Mastering
Jim O'Rourke Engineer
Frank Olinsky Art Direction
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very very sweet

    This album is for the people like me who aren't into all that noise stuff they did in the early days. Some noise? Yes...but thankfully they seem to save their real noise for SSR these days. This is alternative music at its best.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    this is a fantazmo-rific album

    if you enjoy Sonic youth or other edgy indie rock, you will be in tears of joy for this album. they added a fifth member to their previous foursome which helped them with the creative process. They've created a master piece.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews