Sonic Nurse

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Having long since passed the "feel lucky, punk?" point in their career, the members of Sonic Youth are pretty much free to -- in the words of another of rock's most sainted couples -- go their own way. The New Yorkers do exactly that on Sonic Nurse, which strikes an idyllic balance between artistic instinct and post-rock craftsmanship. As on seminal albums like Goo and Sister, Kim Gordon steps up to the mic more often, asserting herself with icy authority on the alternately dissonant and beckoning "Pattern Recognition" and breathily intoning psychosexual sweet nothings on "Dude Ranch Nurse." Gordon revives the pop culture fascination that marked "Tunic" her homage to ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Having long since passed the "feel lucky, punk?" point in their career, the members of Sonic Youth are pretty much free to -- in the words of another of rock's most sainted couples -- go their own way. The New Yorkers do exactly that on Sonic Nurse, which strikes an idyllic balance between artistic instinct and post-rock craftsmanship. As on seminal albums like Goo and Sister, Kim Gordon steps up to the mic more often, asserting herself with icy authority on the alternately dissonant and beckoning "Pattern Recognition" and breathily intoning psychosexual sweet nothings on "Dude Ranch Nurse." Gordon revives the pop culture fascination that marked "Tunic" her homage to Karen Carpenter for "Kim Gordon and the Arthur Doyle Handcream," which puts troubled diva Mariah Carey under the microscope in not altogether sympathetic fashion. Thurston Moore isn't exactly a shrinking violet over the course of the sprawling disc, the band's 19th full-length offering. He kicks off "Dripping Dream" with spasms of metallic in the Einstürzende Neubauten sense of the word noise before downshifting into a mesmerizing piano-and-guitar dalliance reminiscent of late-period Neu! Moore gets his rock mojo working here and there as well, most notably on the wah-wah-laced "New Hampshire," which reconciles the Youth's outré sensibilities with unreconstructed blues riffing. A healing listen, for sure.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Picking up where Murray Street's languid experimentalism left off, Sonic Youth's somewhat awkwardly named Sonic Nurse shows that the band still sounds revitalized, and may have even tapped into a more fruitful creative streak than they did on their previous album. Anyone who has stuck with Sonic Youth this long knows more or less what to expect from them, but the group still has the potential to surprise; one of Sonic Nurse's biggest surprises is the return of Kim Gordon. She had a relatively limited presence on NYC Ghosts & Flowers and Murray Street, but she's back in a big way on this album, contributing four tracks; not coincidentally, Gordon's songs are among the strongest on the album. "Pattern Recognition" gets Sonic Nurse off to a strong start and ranks among her best rock songs, falling somewhere between "Kool Thing" and "Bull in the Heather" in its icy-hot appeal. Her quieter songs have just as much impact: "Dude Ranch Nurse" boasts an oddly timeless guitar lick and lyrics "Let me ride you till you fall/Let's pretend that there's nothing at all" that blur the line between alluring and nihilistic. "I Love You Golden Blue" is another standout, a beautiful but bleak ballad with ghostly vocals that recall Nico at her most fragile. Of course, the rest of the band finds moments to shine: Thurston Moore's "Dripping Dream" begins as absurdist, angular rock although he still has the ability to make phrases like "We've been searching for the cream dream wax" sound like the coolest thing ever and stretches out into a beautiful epic, with the interplay of feedback and guitar lines giving it a comet-tail majesty. "Paper Cup Exit," the requisite Lee Ranaldo track, has a sharper-edged mix of noise and melody than most of Sonic Nurse. Another of the album's surprises is how much of its inspiration seems to come from the band's late-'80s/early-'90s material. It's not just that the band slams George W. Bush on the mellow protest song "Peace Attack," just as Dirty's "Youth Against Fascism" railed against the first President Bush, or that they peer into the void of pop culture on "Kim Gordon and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream" as they did on Goo's Karen Carpenter tribute, "Tunic." On songs like "New Hampshire" -- which could pass for a lost track from Daydream Nation -- Sonic Youth actually sound younger and more enthusiastic than they have in a few albums. All told, this album is probably the band's best balance of pop melodies and avant-leaning structures since Washing Machine; even if it doesn't rank among their most ambitious work, Sonic Nurse sounds like the kind of album Sonic Youth should be making at this point in their career.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
No big revelations, but plenty of rewards. (A-)

No big revelations, but plenty of rewards. (A-)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/20/2004
  • Label: Goofin Records
  • UPC: 787996800615
  • Catalog Number: 6
  • Sales rank: 24,723

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sonic Youth Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Lee Ranaldo Composer
Sonic Youth Composer, Producer
Don Fleming Vocal Producer
John Golden Mastering
Kim Gordon Composer
Thurston Moore Composer
Jim O'Rourke Composer
Steve Shelley Composer
Frank Olinsky Art Direction
Richard Prince Paintings
Aaron Mullan Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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