sonicyouththeeternalNew York City based band Sonic Youth’s sixteenth album, The Eternal, sounds, well, like a Sonic Youth album: Dissonance mixed with melody, literate lyrics and some of the most distinctive and often flat out gorgeous guitar work in rock. On top of all that are Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore’s vocals, distinctive and gorgeous in their own right. No one mixes beauty with ferocity quite like Sonic Youth, and whatever else The Eternal has, it has a ferocious beauty about it. It also rocks harder than any Sonic Youth album in some time, which I admit is one of the primary reasons I really liked it. Apart from a couple of songs that I didn’t hate but didn’t love, either (“What We Know” and “Walkin Blue”), this is good stuff. The Eternal doesn’t constitute a turning point for the band, nor is it a midpoint, or a tipping point, or the like, it’s just a very good, sometimes excellent, Sonic Youth album. Standout cuts: “Leaky Lifeboat (for Gregory Corso),” “Antenna,” “Poison Arrow” and “Massage The History.”

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