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Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Its avant parts are more listenable--nay, beautiful--than anything on Washing Machine if not A Thousand Leaves.
  2. 80
    While a little too dense in spots, NYC Ghosts & Flowers is 42 minutes of the most neatly executed pop noir you'll hear.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Certain moments find the quartet keying in on the same fugal intertwining of beauty and dissonance that Television explored back in the late 1970s.
  6. An unfathomable album which will be heard in the squash courts and open mic nights of deepest hell.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. MarcusG
    Jun 14, 2004
    10
    An incredibly iconoclastic arc of 8 non-songs that has to be their most perfect album. The city is their sole muse but the result is no An incredibly iconoclastic arc of 8 non-songs that has to be their most perfect album. The city is their sole muse but the result is no utopia. There's loss and longing and there's protest. But when that is what sets off the sparks, you are thankful for all the concrete that must become cracked, awe-struck by the histories that have to haunt us. This work is focused, heartfelt, and strangely elegant. It may not be their rockingest best. Any of the tracks laid out on their own suffer more than the band's previous singles and NYCG&F will not create many converts. Still, this release is a pinnacle achievement at the outset of their New York City trilogy of recordings and a strong claim that when it comes to urban noise nobody does it better. Expand
  2. GustavoA
    Mar 3, 2005
    10
    You have to close your eyes and let the music takes you to unknown places. Its UNIQUE
  3. ChronicRuth
    Jan 10, 2007
    10
    I haven't heard this one. But Sonic Youth is a real good bad with mostly real good songs. I like it when they just play and play too. I haven't heard this one. But Sonic Youth is a real good bad with mostly real good songs. I like it when they just play and play too. Sometimes it seems like maybe just noise or something. That's awesome! I think this album will be real good and you should buy it. I mean who are you to not like a Sonic Youth record? They are like elders in a culture of depravity and utter seriousness. Stare them down and you see yourself, naked, hallucinating in a ditch, imaging that you are a strung rock star, teetering on the edge of the world , with something important left to say, that the public has yet to wrestle, yet to rescue from your mind, and in just one magic second, you will speak your final peace. Now. Sex is death. Such dedication forewarns of a life that is doomed to end in repeat. Expand
  4. Andy
    Jun 25, 2001
    9
    A 56?? Seems it's hip to hate the Youth these days.
  5. Joe
    May 24, 2009
    8
    A good album. Not perfect but definitely interesting, a great record for Sonic Youth.
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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. Expand