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.
Performance CreditsSonic 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 CreditsSonic Youth Producer
Jim O'Rourke Engineer
Frank Olinsky Art Direction
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Murray St. based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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.