With less than two weeks to go until the big move, I've let this blog get a little behind schedule...

There are a lot of goodbyes to say...a lot of work piling up at my day job just before my last day (next Friday)...not to mention all the packing and general fretting ramping up as that date approaches.

I've also been hesitant because, for the first time in the past 16 months or so that I've been doing this project...I wasn't really crazy about either album this week.  It was a bit of a chore.

Spoiler alert.  

Oh, you're supposed to say it before you spoil?   

What's that?  

The term has reached its jump-the-shark moment?  

What's that?  

No one says jump-the-shark any more?

Read on, dear friend.  I promise to be brief.

065: Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (1988)

When I say I wasn't crazy about either album, it doesn't mean I didn't see the merit in the album.  Listening to it again now, I am liking the album-opener Teen Age Riot in a new way.  I can hear the influence this album must have had on the 90's alternative scene.

I can't really put how I feel about this record better than a fellow traveler on this album appreciation journey did on their blog...I found this blog while searching, trying to better educate myself to coax more love for Sonic Youth.  This anonymous person (as far as I could tell) is blogging their way through the 1001 albums listed in the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book over the next 10 years and is blogging about it here.  That book is great--and from what I saw, this blog seems great (and ambitious) too!

In these 14 songs, there must be some that I enjoy, right?

Providence is cool.  I like the instrumental piano and noise, and the voice mail snippets from Mike Watt.

That's about it...this album is not for me.  


064: My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1991)

This album has a lot in common with Daydream Nation.  They were both released around the same time period, and both experiment with noise.  This album grew on me much more than Sonic Youth's did, though.  Perhaps it's because the songs are more melodic, and the noise is more gauzy and moody than abrasive (for the most part).

What I first noticed about this album was how oddly the vocals are placed in the mix.  They are so (intentionally it turns out) low in the mix that the voice becomes just another element of the song--the lyrics almost indeterminate.  Perhaps it makes you lean in more to try to understand...or perhaps it's just frustrating...

This album, like Daydream Nation, definitely seems way ahead of its time.  It sounds to me more like records I was listening to in the late 90's or early 00's.  

Listening to it again now, maybe my error with this album was context.  This album is definitely not a headphones on the way to work album--it's more a melt into the couch, with the incense burning and the lights down low album.  Who has time for that any more?  Perhaps it's time to make time.

Verdict

I will never listen to Daydream Nation again.  I always noticed how revered Sonic Youth is--and wondered what I was missing out on.  I can honestly say I've now listened, have seen their merit, and admitted that it's just not for me.  It can't all be (he says defensively).

When MBV released their long awaited follow-up album last year, there was a lot of hype about how one of the great bands of all time had returned.  I had made assumptions about what they would sound like--based on very little.  They weren't what I thought they were...and given more time and, perhaps, the right context, I could see learning to love this record.


Next Up

063: David Bowie - Hunky Dory (1971)

062: R.E.M. - Murmur (1983)

Want to listen ahead, or see some posts you may have missed?  Check out the full list of the 100 Greatest Albums here.

Comment