• Record Label: Geffen
  • Release Date: Jun 8, 2004
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. ‘Nurse’ is the closest to creating a landmark on parallel with ‘Daydream Nation’ they’ve come since that particular record's nameday in ‘88, and in it’s dense textures it maybe signals the extinction of the antediluvian No Wave idyll; a Robert Zimmerman trip that somehow got mixed up with Joni Mitchell, Black Flag and a conceptualist oddball.
  2. Sonic Nurse could be the best guitar rock album since, well, Murray St.
  3. This unusually songful set is well up among their late good ones, its dissonances a lingua franca deployed less atmospherically than has been their recent practice.
  4. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    No big revelations, but plenty of rewards. [11 Jun 2004, p.123]
  5. Filter
    90
    A gorgeous, bona fide gem. [#11, p.92]
  6. Every song but one falls fully developed in the five- to seven-minute ballpark, brimming with enough dissonant wizardry, smart vocal imagery, and tonal shades of rock to fly the freak flag like no aging rockers ever have.
  7. While Sonic Nurse isn't quite as strong as its predecessor, it's equally as imbued with instrumental dexterity and impressively coherent ideas.
  8. Under The Radar
    80
    If 1992's Dirty caught the grunge zeitgeist, Nurse might capture something of indie rock's recent taste for emotional epics. [#7]
  9. On the whole, Sonic Nurse compiles a laid-back hour of elaborate plucking and rhythm from five veteran musicians who reserve musical violence and poetic anger for when it feels most appropriate.
  10. The krang of album’s past seems more an afterthought as the band explores the natural textures of layered guitar and lumbering bass tracks.
  11. Blender
    80
    Their most songful release since the major-label hellos Goo and Dirty, and by most standards their best since 1988's pivotal Daydream Nation. [#27, p.144]
  12. Sonic Nurse finds them embracing and sifting through the finer moments of their past over the course of 10 outstanding tracks.
  13. Sonic Nurse, if not proof of a band bursting with fresh ideas, is at least fresh-sounding.
  14. Percolates the same melancholy satisfaction and nervous maturity, entropy and growth, in and out--but with an urgency and impulsiveness that risks upsetting the balance.
  15. All told, this album is probably the band's best balance of pop melodies and avant-leaning structures since Washing Machine; even if it doesn't rank among their most ambitious work, Sonic Nurse sounds like the kind of album Sonic Youth should be making at this point in their career.
  16. What emerges is Sonic Youth at complete ease with themselves and their music, operating simultaneously at the peak of their powers and with a powerful, audacious restraint.
  17. Sonic Nurse is the happy medium they've been craving. The songs, despite being mostly over five minutes long, are all to the point without feeling meandering.... The balance between noise and melody is right, with each emerging and vanishing at just the right point.
  18. Uncut
    80
    The Youth sound rejuvenated. [Jul 2004, p.108]
  19. This ain't another Daydream Nation, but Nurse is a good cure for what ails the airwaves.
  20. It's [Kim] Gordon's tracks that make the strongest impact.
  21. Q Magazine
    70
    Finds them revelling in bursts of noise and awkwardness, but more surprisingly perhaps, taking as much comfort in sweet melody. [Jul 2004, p.124]
  22. New Musical Express (NME)
    70
    Sounds like a brilliant album by a lesser band. [5 Jun 2004, p.57]
  23. Whilst Moore’s meandering stops Sonic Nurse from going that much needed extra mile, Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo are on reassuringly good form.
  24. Rolling Stone
    70
    The guitar feedback... hasn't vanished, yet this is Sonic Youth's most accessible album since 1992's Dirty. [24 Jun 2004, p.175]
  25. Spin
    67
    A strangely enervated Sonic Youth record, one that exchanges Murray Street's golden-years vigor for a sad sense of duty. [Jul 2004, p.108]
  26. Sonic Nurse neither disappoints nor surpasses expectations.
  27. Alternative Press
    60
    Sonic Nurse is better than 90 percent of new rock, but with younger combos like Lightning Bolt and Liars stealing their thunder, these well-meaning vets come off as old and in the way. [Jul 2004, p.134]
  28. Magnet
    60
    A better-than-average Sonic Youth album. [#64, p.106]
  29. Lacks the standout tracks of its predecessors.
  30. The Wire
    60
    The emphasis this time around is on poppier melodies, but for all its attention to song form, Sonic Nurse feels more like a collection of exercises than a cohesive album. [#244, p.63]
  31. Mojo
    60
    Sonic Nurse is not... a classic rock record. And it's not a classic Sonic Youth record. It's an excursion, into corners weird and corners familiar. [Jun 2004, p.100]
  32. A fairly average jaunt into familiar indie rock territory.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Nov 19, 2011
    8
    Sonic Nurse (awesome title) is the 13th LP by the alternative rock kingpins, Sonic Youth. If you have never heard of them, you know **** aboutSonic Nurse (awesome title) is the 13th LP by the alternative rock kingpins, Sonic Youth. If you have never heard of them, you know **** about rock and youâ Full Review »
  2. djm
    Dec 14, 2006
    9
    The only thing preventing a 10 is that not all of the tracks are up to the high standard of standouts such as Pattern Recognition and Unmade The only thing preventing a 10 is that not all of the tracks are up to the high standard of standouts such as Pattern Recognition and Unmade Bed, namely Kim's songs about Mariah Carey and Dude Ranch Nurse. They're only good if you are in the mood for them. This cd, to me, is among SY's very best. Full Review »
  3. SeamusS
    Mar 27, 2006
    10
    A surprisingly beautiful record. There's something in here that you'll find in the best of Sonic Youth's album. That something A surprisingly beautiful record. There's something in here that you'll find in the best of Sonic Youth's album. That something is their ability to make something sound beautiful and remain dangerous, never straining their sound or sounding like they're trying to hard. This ranks amongst their best. Full Review »