nyc ghosts & flowers

Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. A dark, nervous-sounding album, a demanding and disruptive listen that only grows thornier over its 45-minute duration.
  2. The collection either encapsulates Sonic Youth's most endearing or annoying qualities, depending on how one feels about the band and the spoken-word poetics from Kim Gordon.
  3. 80
    While a little too dense in spots, NYC Ghosts & Flowers is 42 minutes of the most neatly executed pop noir you'll hear.
  4. Checkout.com
    80
    NYC Ghosts & Flowers yields no easy accessibility, as it becomes darker and more abstract by the minute.
  5. Closer than any previous mass-market Sonic Youth album to the avant-garde sound that's always popped up in their extracurricular work.
  6. Magnet
    80
    Doesn't quite reach greatness, but it grows and changes with every listen... [#46, p.92]
  7. 80
    Ghosts & Flowers, like Sonic Youth's landmark Daydream Nation album, forces the listener to listen very carefully for subtle moments of beauty amidst the near silence and the absolute chaos.
  8. While it captures the contrary, questing essence of Sonic Youth surer than any SY release since 'Washing Machine', it also never betrays the sluggish, arrogant lack of self-editing that made '98's 'A Thousand Leaves' so bilious and unlovable, and the band's self-released 'SYR' EPs so hit and miss.
  9. The unruly, bad-dream aftertaste of this material echoes the quartet's early records from the 1980s... Even while there isn't a single song here that holds together from beginning to end, even as the music makes only itself felt in halting jigsaw fashion... the album has a gloomy, unaccommodating tenacity that's hard to shake.
  10. Certain moments find the quartet keying in on the same fugal intertwining of beauty and dissonance that Television explored back in the late 1970s.
  11. Its avant parts are more listenable--nay, beautiful--than anything on Washing Machine if not A Thousand Leaves.
  12. The band members unleash meditative, self-consciously poetic jams, solidifying their status as the hipster's Phish.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Joe
    May 24, 2009
    8
    A good album. Not perfect but definitely interesting, a great record for Sonic Youth.
  2. SR.
    Sep 23, 2007
    7
    Its sonic youth, take it or leave it. that pitchfork 'review' shouldn't be counted. there are very very few albums ever that Its sonic youth, take it or leave it. that pitchfork 'review' shouldn't be counted. there are very very few albums ever that deserve a 0 and this certainly isn't one of them. scumbags. Full Review »
  3. JonL
    Jul 23, 2007
    5
    Some cool, interesting tracks where the beat approach actually works (usually Ranaldo's stuff), but most of it is dull or just Some cool, interesting tracks where the beat approach actually works (usually Ranaldo's stuff), but most of it is dull or just embarrassing. Unless Ranaldo's writing it all, it's better for them to just hint at this approach rather than attack it outright. Full Review »