After the regressive, low-key Experimental Jet Set, Trash & No Star, Sonic Youth appeared to be floundering somewhat, but Washing Machine erased any notion that the band had run out of things to say. Easily their most adventurous, challenging, and best record since Daydream Nation, the album finds Sonic Youth returning to the fearless exploration of their SST records, but the group has found a way to work that into tighter song structures. Not only are the songs more immediate than most of the material on their earlier records, the sound here is warm and open, making Washing Machine their most mature and welcoming record to date. It's not a commercial record, nor is it a pop record, but Washing Machine encompasses everything that made Sonic Youth innovators, and shows that they can continue to grow, finding new paths inside their signature sound.
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''Washing Machine'' is probably Sonic Youth's most low-key album, and likey one of their bests. This album came out to mixed reviews in 1995...some critics hated it, and some were comparing it to ''Daydream Nation'' and ''Nevermind'' by Nirvana. But no matter what anyone says, EVERYONE knows that not every band could get away with writing a twenty-minute song (The Diamond Sea), 15 minutes of which is entirely instrumental and never wavers for a second. By the way, the track listing is wrong on this site...track nine is an untitled instrumental, while ''skip tracer'' is ten and ''diamond sea'' is eleven. just wanted to point that out. Anyway, I still think ''Dirty'' is SY's best album, but this one comes pretty close. The best Kim song on the album is ''Washing Machine'', Lee has two great songs, and Thurston's ''No Queen Blues'' is probably the most mysterious song I've heard since Hole's ''Garbadge Man'' (Yes that spelling is correct). this isn't the best album in the history of music (that would be ''Siamese Dream'' by the Smashing Pumpkins), but it's a definite underground classic.