Rather Ripped - Sonic Youth
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. This is their radio-rock record, and it's not a tribute, it's as close to the real thing as they've come since they actually had a chance at radio play back in the '90s.
  2. Rather Ripped is unmistakably a Sonic Youth album, right down to the snatches of amp-on-fire distortion, the tuneless speak-singing of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, and an emphasis on guitar texture that includes amplifying each strummed string. But the conventional rock-song structures of "Incinerate," while not unheard of for Sonic Youth, here feel unexpectedly and warmly classicist.
  3. Rather Ripped may not have the cultural impact of 1989's Daydream Nation, but it contains some of the best music of their career.
  4. To call the album the band's most accessible to date is no slur. There's nothing wrong with accessible indie rock when it's this pristine and polished.
  5. Rather Ripped is probably one of the best records in Sonic Youth's catalog, and definitely one of the best albums of 2006.
  6. Rather Ripped is what you'd expect from a Sonic Youth that's getting back to the cool rock 'n' roll sound they trademarked years ago, completed by a tagline of frenzied feedback and chiming guitars.
  7. It is a fully legitimate, clear and strong rock 'n' roll record in the band's own style. And it may really be the best one.
  8. [Sonic Youth's] most openly “mature” disc, possibly their best since ’95’s Washing Machine, maybe even the almighty Daydream Nation.
  9. It's the arresting delicacy of the quieter, dreamier tunes that'll really rip up your emotions.
  10. All in, this is a terrific, life-affirming and, at times, deeply romantic album - one that proves the potentials in both rock'n'roll and the electric guitar.
  11. Rather Ripped is what you'd expect from a Sonic Youth that's getting back to the cool rock 'n' roll sound they trademarked years ago, completed by a tagline of frenzied feedback and chiming guitars.
  12. 'Rather Ripped' is the most accomplished and mature album Sonic Youth have done in years.
  13. 80
    There's surely never beena Sonic Youth album so unself-conscious. [Jul 2006, p.98]
  14. 80
    Several tracks are up with their best. [Jul 2006, p.88]
  15. It's a solidly good album, and if taken as part of a trio of albums with Sonic Nurse and Murray Street, it shows that Sonic Youth is still in a comfortable yet creative groove, not a rut.
  16. Rather Ripped is an excellent record, one of the strongest to emerge from Sonic Youth's amazing late period.
  17. Rather Ripped is the sound of a band no longer setting their distortion pedals on stun, and, as a result, the best songs are as low-key as a small town on Sunday morning. [Aug 2006, p.218]
  18. About as accessible and smooth as this band is going to get. [Aug 2006, p.85]
  19. With Rather Ripped they continue their slow but remarkable progression that currently finds them, for the most part, dropping old SY standbys such as long experimental noise passages in exchange for a significantly more sedated route.
  20. Rather Ripped is a solid collection of songs smartly executed by a band secure in its legacy and refusing to go gently into that good rock night.
  21. "Rather Ripped" is a concise serving of what the band does best.
  22. Doused with sleek and slippery riffs, the album's early succession of propulsive, three-minute art-pop songs is especially strong.
  23. It almost makes you wonder what would have happened if Television and Peter Frampton had worked together. That's a compliment. [11 Jun 2006]
  24. It is indeed a really good record--but not a patch on their 1988 masterpiece 'Daydream Nation'. [17 Jun 2006, p.37]
  25. Rarely have they laid down so many tunes that are this downright pretty, hummable, even. [#14]
  26. Their most mature album to date. [Jul 2006, p.118]
  27. It’s a fitting overview of everything that’s always worked for Sonic Youth in the past.
  28. What stands out across Rather Ripped are the remarkable melodic turns throughout. [#268, p.63]
  29. It seems to complete a circle, to contain something of everything the band has attempted over the years.
  30. [It] feels more overly familiar and Velvet Underground-y than usual, which isn't a good thing for a band with such forward-thinking ideals.
  31. 60
    Their songiest record in more than a decade. [Jun 2006, p.145]
  32. Rather Ripped comes off as a collection of good-and-great songs, but it just isn't up there with their best.
  33. 40
    Ripped is about three- or four-minute songcraft--never the highlight of their resume. [Jul 2006, p.88]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Nov 14, 2013
    8
    I don't expect from Sonics repeating any of their hits like Daydream Nation or Washing Machine on this album. This all has been said and shut.I don't expect from Sonics repeating any of their hits like Daydream Nation or Washing Machine on this album. This all has been said and shut. This is just a compilation of really well-crafted *songs* (pretty much an innovation in Sonic Youth's music) with their old spice. Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2012
    8
    Rather ripped is a beautiful album that can still pack a punch. Every song is very beautiful and Incinerate could be the song of the decade.Rather ripped is a beautiful album that can still pack a punch. Every song is very beautiful and Incinerate could be the song of the decade. Sonic Youth is one of the only bands that can be thirty years old, but still have more life then most bands debut albums. Full Review »
  3. Sep 9, 2011
    10
    For a group whose reputation has long rested on tremendous risk-taking, to make a risk-averse album can be itself risky: it stands to beFor a group whose reputation has long rested on tremendous risk-taking, to make a risk-averse album can be itself risky: it stands to be denigrated as dull and half-assed by some critics who think that innovation can only go in one directionâ Full Review »