Rather Ripped - Sonic Youth
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Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

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  • Summary: This self-produced 20th album finds the New York band back down to a four-piece, with Jim O'Rourke dropping out after two albums.
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 probably one of the best records in Sonic Youth's catalog, and definitely one of the best albums of 2006.
  3. "Rather Ripped" is a concise serving of what the band does best.
  4. 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]
  5. Rarely have they laid down so many tunes that are this downright pretty, hummable, even. [#14]
  6. 40
    Ripped is about three- or four-minute songcraft--never the highlight of their resume. [Jul 2006, p.88]

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. sebastianjoykill
    Jun 14, 2006
    The concept is brillant, the new loud is quiet, the new unpop is poppy. Ripping sounds and riffs from early influencial pop bands and recreating them into new material with very personal themes which all at once gain a level of the personal and makes it universal; that is the goal of a true artist in any medium and to do this on their 15th album is genius and to make it enjoyable even more so. This album is the perfect summer album and will be listened to for years from now. Classic. Expand
  2. J.R.
    Jun 20, 2006
    Another great album in the Sonic's cannon. This is one for those that wouldn't normally get into this band's long expiremental jams since everything is laid out tight and concise this time around. Nice melodies and great tight playing - and just enough of that "otherworldliness" that the group is justifiably famous for. One of the best albums of 2006. Expand
  3. Sep 9, 2011
    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 be denigrated as dull and half-assed by some critics who think that innovation can only go in one directionâ Expand
  4. spence
    Jun 16, 2006
    I'm not hearing the "Daydream Nation" comparisons, but def in the same vein as Murray Street and Sonic Nurse less the 3 minute guitar freak-outs and texture. Expand
  5. DavidH.
    Oct 18, 2007
    Compulsively listenable with a far more subtle quality to the arrangements and an altogether more organic feel than its predecessor; the ambitious, but inconsistent Sonic Nurse. Sonic Youth sound more confident than they have ever been since Daydream Nation, I'm not kidding. Having accepted their arrival into middle age, Kim and particularly Thurston no longer sound as if they have any hangups about still trying to sound like college kids anymore. From Goo up until Sonic Nurse, there has always something of the grunge era to Sonic Youth. Though these albums had standout tracks and they maintained a willingness to give us complex song structures, a sense of genuine sonic experimentation and , by turn, authenticity had been missing from their music. Although Rather Ripped could never be mistaken for anything leftfield (the exhilarating noise of "Helen Ljungberg" aside), it's unique among SY's discography. Though they might be accused of not trying very hard, they don't need to. It's not their most fun album, but hey, they're taking life at a different pace now and while Rather Ripped falls way short of being a classic, it manages to be both dignified and consistently enjoyable. Roll on the next album. Expand
  6. ReubenF
    Dec 18, 2006
    While not up to the standards they set on Teenage Nation (1988), Goo (1990), Dirty (1992), or Experimental Jet Set, Trash & No Star (1994), it nonetheless comes close, which is saying alot, considering the forementioned albums rank among the greatest ever released. Expand
  7. Joe
    May 24, 2009
    Hm, don't get me wrong. Sonic Youth is my favourite band, but this album just isn't that good. I find it pretty boring, and their worst album to date. Expand

See all 31 User Reviews