Sister is the fourth studio album by American alternative rock band Sonic Youth. It was released in June 1987 by SST Records. The album furthered the band's move away from the no wave genre towards more traditional song structures, while maintaining an aggressively experimental approach. Like Sonic Youth's previous records, Sister was not successful at the time of its release. In the years following, however, it received much critical praise, with several publications naming it as one of the best albums of the 1980s.Wikipedia
46 days in and I’m beginning to think the 1001 Album Generator is tracking my internet history. Less than 12 hours before this album was “randomly generated” for me, I was watching a 1996 Sonic Youth live performance from Germany on YouTube. This suggests two grim possibilities: Either the developers of this website have entered into a nefarious pact with Google and are tracking my browsing history (god help them if they are) and then recommending albums… OR …I am becoming one with the Generator; its decisions influencing my choices and my choices influencing its decisions: a bio-mechanical cerebral cortex, decaying in a feedback loop. If Sonic Youth are, in fact, a conduit for The Singularity, would anyone be surprised? Their guitar squall and reckless abandon would make a fitting soundtrack to the technological apocalypse. Rating: SEVEN! out of 5
I had heard of Sonic Youth in the 90's, but remained unfamiliar with their work. I just listened to this whole album and even though it's more "thrashy" than my usual listening tastes, I so love it. Innovative, original, and they show some real advanced musicianship. I read up on them, and Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore's focus on alternate tunings, many they pioneered, really draws me in. Such an artistic approach to their craft, and so much expression in their music.
The sound of Sonic Youth really coalesced on 1987’s Sister, the band’s first real masterpiece. SY had been experimenting with modified guitars on blunt and jagged songs for a handful of years, creating an interesting and groundbreaking sound, but inconsistent albums and EPs. Beginning with EVOL, in 1986, their songcraft became more consistent, and they perfected it on Sister on tracks like “Schizophrenia” and “Stereo Sanctity.” One of this album’s highlights, though, is a cover: a faithful executed take on San Francisco punk band Crime’s fairly obscure “Hotwire My Heart,” with its tight rhythmic core and daggers of lead guitar slashing through the distortion. The gentle, dissonance of “Kotton Krown” nods to the epic scope we’d hear the following year on the band’s second masterpiece, the double album Daydream Nation.
I’m sure the abrasiveness and noise will turn off more than a few listeners, but embracing those is part of the point. They were smart to ease listeners in with the melancholy pop of “Schizophrenia,” while the rest of the songs veer into noisy hardcore pretty quickly. I hate using words like “evocative” but that’s exact what’s happening here, it’s hard to listen to the air-raid siren guitars, doom-y basslines, and intricate punk drumming without picturing a dark, sinister mid-80s Americana, like the Children of the Corn grew up and hid in the city, playing nihilistic noise because it’s all the know. Like a lot of the records of this era I wish the production could be beefed up but apparently the master tapes were destroyed. Just adding to the foreboding mystique at this point I guess.
This is a strange collection of dissonant sounds, strange chords, screams, and stress. Every time i think i may appreciate a song it devolves into some incomprehensible chaos. Hard to tell if this is some sort of genius or crazy people that recently got instruments. I'm glad i made the journey, but i don't ever plan to go back.
I don't know what's going on- we got Sonic Youth earlier this list, and I really didn't connect or enjoy the album at all, but this one sounds amazing to me? What the fuck am I doing with this list? I'm going to have to go revisit it... Discordant, noisy artsy punk. Fun shit.
Why the fuck haven't I been listening to Sonic Youth
Nothing offensive but a bit droning and one note. I'm sure they have hits, just not on this album.
5.0 - Yes, finally! Here's a Sonic Youth album that lives up to their hype! This truly feels like a milestone record that lays the foundation for so much of the music I enjoyed in my teenage years. They've balanced grungy experimentation with structured rock songwriting beautifully.
Listen: Aside from a pretty decent cover of a Karen Carpenter song, Sonic Youth was a huge blind spot for me until this "project". I basically knew them as a band Kurt Cobain and Jason Bateman's character from "Juno" liked. I'm only two albums in so far, but it's safe to say I'm completely all in on Sonic Youth now. This is the album where they nudge right up to that finish line that indicates the sound they'd perfect and inspire future and wannabe musicians for years to come. That special sound is an album away. But this still comes dangerously close. It's like licking your finger and then holding it up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Gordon and Moore were headed in the right direction here. This is the foretaste of the feast to come.
First time listening to this album, absolutely love it, the guitars sound so good throughout, maybe not as good as Daydream Nation but this is still a masterpiece. One of those albums I just had to replay after the first listen, and makes this project worthwhile finding these gems.
A few decent songs regularly broken up with pointless, atonal noise. It might be "art" but it's not art, if you know what I'm saying.
Album that got me into Sonic Youth
Absolute classic! One of my all time faves of sonic youth and beyond.
Hot damn I need to have more Sonic Youth in my life. This was a great listen
Pretty brilliant. Deserves much more listening.
I was surprised how "modern" this one sounded, probably an indication of what a big influence the band is on a lot of more recent alternative rock.
Might be the album that I have listened to the most times ever. This dry drum sound in the first song.. instantly recognizable. I suppose it is Day Dream Nation for most people, but Sister is my number 1 Sonic Youth above Day Dream Nation, Evol, Dirty and Goo.
i love this album. have never been able to decide if i like this or daydream nation better. they're both excellent.
Brilliant, uncompromising, making music exactly how they want to, Sonic Youth consistently innovate and fascinate. The dissonance is part of the journey.
I'm endlessly fascinated with the way Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo use guitars to such varied effects. Their noisy experimentations are a testament to the possibilities of sound. This music clangs and chimes, it screeches and grinds. It’s trippy and whirling, occasionally pretty, and often pointedly noisy. The contrast between Kim Gordon’s insouciant vocal and Moore’s more atonal style add interesting contrast and depth to the songs. The pacing of some of these songs is brutal, with credit due to some hard driving drums by Steve Shelley. There's an urgency that can feel oppressive as it pulls/drags you along, the only relief coming from strategically placed moments of quiet. If you don't dig noise, this will be a hard listen. If you enjoy it, this is glorious. Fave Songs: Schizophrenia, Pacific Coast Highway, Beauty Lies in the Eye, White Cross, Cotton Crown, Pipeline/Kill Time
Really great album. 2nd best Sonic Youth album. Schizophrenia is among their best. 8-9/10
Started strong and declined rather quickly.
Ah yes, more "sustain guitar depressed teenager music". Still not my case ^^
Actually listened to cee lo green from history --- very good Also recently tried reverend and the makers which is ideal upbeat music
awesome album, 10/10 I think I liked it more than Bad Moon Rising, but I don’t know about Evol overall Sonic Youth has an amazing discography but it’s definitely not for everyone
4.5/5. Sister was very good. Kinda feels like their most definitive moment before Daydream
This album is a less noisy and more accessible than Sonic Youth’s prior work and less accessible than Daydream Nation, which would be released the next year. This album is simmering post-punk that is experimental and only slightly polished. In this case, it’s a good thing and shows just how precocious Sonic Youth were when playing and arranging sound.
I had a phase in college for where I listened to this band pretty extensively. I still do but not nearly as often. Anyway, I always really liked this album, particularly the first 2 tracks. I still think this is pretty great. I like a couple of their albums more and this is probably more of a 4 for me, but its getting a five. Try and stop me!
"I went away to see an old friend of mine His sister came over, she was out of her mind..." "Schizophrenia", the track that opens this album, is the birth of Sonic Youth as a legendary, iconic New York act. Everything that happened before during the band's early "no wave" trajectory converges to that melancholic guitar riff supported by Steve Shelley's bouncy toms, along with Thurston Moore's dreamy voice humming that David Lynch-like yarn over them. And everything that occured after that minute or so, for the band themselves, but also for the indie scene at large--years and even decades into the future--is a consequence of that incredible introduction where the band merged its abrasive, dissonant, unapologetically arty vocabulary with the most blatantly poppish instincts out there. From that moment I heard that introduction then dissolve into a maelstrom of intense, gripping sounds, I knew I would love this band forever. They were pointing the way into the future, to the nineties and beyond. Sadly, not a lot of folks realized this in 1987. I wish I had been there to tell everyone to *listen*, to *really*, *really* listen. They would have dismissed me as a deluded fan, I imagine. How wrong they would have been. You just need to *properly* hear the first minutes of that album to know. *Sister* is filled to the brim with transcendent moments like that, from the sheer aggression of "Catholic Block" to the oneiric, foggy atmosphere of "Kotton Krown", from the jangling, twisted guitar lines of "Tuff Gnarl" to the relentless, obsessive compulsive pulse of "Pacific Coast Highway". Moore hums, croons or shrieks. Gordon singspeaks and snarls as if she was sneering at death itself. Ranaldo utters apocalyptic preaches to an invisible congregration, *us*. Guitars wail, wince, drill and tinkle. The lyrics immerse you into a Philip K. Dick's alternate universe where industries of the heart and factories of the flesh mingle as if they were driven by the same mechanical pistons. Teenage lust, romantic impulses and cerebral digressions conflate. The air itself is buzzing with electricity around the schizoid characters populating those songs. Even silence, or what's left of it, seems to buzz. *Daydream Nation*, the album that followed *Sister*, is said to be Sonic Youth's magnum opus, thanks to some of its iconic cuts, its length, and its topical ambition--not to mention its overall sound, one more streamlined than in here (read: "more flat"). But make no mistake, *Sister* is iconic in its own right, and it is as much a masterpiece as *Daydream Nation* is, maybe even more so. A lot of Sonic Youth fans know this already. And they can't keep this a secret. I certainly can't. Now go on, call me a deluded fan. I'll only reply with one word. *Listen*. Number of albums left to review: 755 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 123 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 59 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 64
I enjoyed the shit outta this.
i always knew that sonic youth was highly influential but i never really dived into their music until now; and this definitely surpassed my expectations. this album sounds forward-thinking even though it released over 30 years ago. this album feels like someone went to the future, listened to all of the bands inspired by sonic youth, and then came back and made this; you know that a band is unique when they sound like they're inspired by themselves.
Noise is great, noise is brilliant
Meni je ovo možda najdraži sonic youth
I did not get turned onto Sonic Youth until their later efforts, and honestly have not listened to this album much. But it's all here - the amazing guitar work, the odd song structures, the dissonant noises, the way it all somehow still holds together. Apparently it was a concept album based around Philip K. Dick's life? Seriously, can you get any cooler than that? I've now listened to it three times through and as is often the case with their albums, it sounds more melodic and less random with each new listen. Definitely one of my favorite bands of all time. Although this isn't my favorite album of theirs, it still deserves a 5/5.
1. Schizophrenia: starting of strong with a mellow yet very captivating track. 8.5/10. 2. Catholic Block: huge riffs and very nice vocals. This one grows during the track. 8/10. 3. Beauty Lies in the Eye: love this talkative way of portraying songs, great instrumental support. 8.5/10 4. Stereo Sancity: this one feels a bit too repetitive. Instrumentally really nice. 7/10 5. Pipeline/Killtime: pretty nice track, feels a bit like track 4 in a way. 7.5/10 6. Tuff Gnarl: noisy track which was cool to listen to. 7/10 7. Pacific Coast Highway: reminds me of julie, banger. 8.5/10 8. Hot Wire My Heart: pretty good. 7/10 9. Cotton Crown: nice riff, good layering with bass, solid track all round. 8/10. 10. White Cross: crazy sound, great riff. 7.5/10 11. Master-Dik: decent track not my fav. 6.5/10
Sonic Youth is one of those "do you like it?" "of course I do" bands, but little do you really know! What a mistake! This album is magnificent, good music from the beginning to the end.
not one of my regular sonic youth album choices but being made to listen to it today might have pushed it in to the regular go to category.
Very exceptional stuff from the Youth, a precursor of monumental things to come. Favorites include Schizophrenia, Catholic Block, Tuff Gnarl and Pacific Coast Highway.
Have listen to a few of his song, always a good time.
I can see how a lot of the bands I enjoy are influenced by this. I feel like the strokes especially use a lot of the same fuzzy guitar
No había escuchado un disco completo de SY y la verdad que agradable sorpresa, estaban muy metidos en el noise que ya no es taaan sucio y supongo que a lo largo de los años lo fueron limpiando aun mas. Ahora entiendo por que fueron influencia para muchas bandas y géneros, estaban bien loquitos
Enjoying it a lot.
Pretty cool, very cryptic sounding, super cohesive so no songs really stood out. Overall enjoyable listen
having never heard of Sonic Youth outside of that one Simpsons episode, i gotta say, i am a big fan. it's noise rock/grunge on a level I'd expect from a 90's band and i couldn't be more pleased to have heard it. from the lyrics to instrumentals, it's an album that grabs you and gets in your face with it's music.
4.5 | Sonic Youth es una banda muy interesante, quizá la mayor parte los recuerda por el sonido de rock alternativo ruidoso que influyo sobre la creación eventual del grunge, pero la verdad es que fue una banda con bastantes facetas, la primera de ellas siendo de música bastante experimental y disonante de esa que he visto que les encanta en este grupo. Este disco es como el puente entre todo ese estilo inicial y el estilo más melódico que saldría después con el disco con Daydream Nation y eventualmente a su mayor expresión con el Goo. Esa situación de puente hace que este sea de mis discos preferidos de la banda. Ese sonido todavía caótico y experimental pero ya con algo de forma y melodías. Schizophrenia es una de sus mejores canciones, iniciando con una voz suave, batería con carácter y una guitarra desafinada, es puro puro Sonic Youth, las letras poéticas y económicas, la manera de cantar siempre me ha recordado a Nico y en esta canción es más que válido, es una canción ensoñada, lánguida y apática. Catholic Block llena de feedback inicia la agresión con letras de enojo y explota a terminar en un grito y un sonsonete calmado cambiando a Beauty Lies in the Eye, hablando de belleza y la presión de la mujer. El resto del album quizá no llega a la maravilla de punch y combinación de esa tercia de inicio pero es igualmente de agradable; ritmos fuera de tiempo, canciones que pareciera duran más de lo que deben y de repente se paran y vuelven a iniciar. Cotton Crown con el dueto más extrañamente romántico y lleno de ruido disonante pero que funciona muy bien. Es de esos discos que pudiera hablar sobre cada canción. Alguien que conocí y ya no está me dijo una vez que no había fans de Sonic Youth, que solo había gente que decía que les gustaban pero que nadie los escuchaba realmente. Suena absurdo pero sí tenía un grado de razón. Sonic Youth completo es una banda que no es lo más accesible, eran mucho más experimentales de lo que se les recuerda, por cada canción de las pocas conocidas en general hay cinco que son totalmente polarizantes y repulsan a la gente. Sister es de esos discos que mientras más le das chance más mejora, tiene canciones grandes como Schizophrenia pero también te avienta rarezas a la cara y espera a ver si logras apreciar la disonancia y lo extraño. En mi opinión es un viaje que agradezco.
This perfectly matched my mood for Wednesday. Particularly liked Schizophrenia, and the overall noisiness / experimentalism of the album
Decent, probably a 4
Creative and inspiring alt rock. More melodic than previous efforts and a couple landmark songs. 80s alternative NYC at its best
Noisy in the good way
Es la primera vez que escucho este disco, al menos que yo recuerde, y parece como si lo llevara escuchando toda mi vida.
Toe maar, 2 dagen verwend met Sonic Youth
Within Sonic Youth's discography, EVOL and Sister were described to me as companion albums: two sides of the same coin. Sister is the more accessible of the two, as it starts to leave behind the no wave and experimental roots for the band. Sister sees Sonic Youth move gracefully into some great alt rock songs without getting too "safe". Well-paced tracklist, standout songs, and overall cohesive tone means you've got a bonafide classic on your hands. More, please!
I've listened to this and Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (1988) in the past, and never quite understood the level of praise for this band. I think part of the problem was I'd already listened to a lot of post-hardcore and noise rock, and I failed to appreciate how innovate Sonic Youth were in carving out space for those genres. You can hear a lot of Fugazi emanating from this album, for example. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how original/influential a record is if it doesn't click with you personally. Thankfully, this did fall into place for me on revisiting it! I love the noisy, discordant, and experimental moments. But I also love that this album surrounds them with clean indie/rock frameworks. It's a great record, even if it'll never mean as much to me as it does to other listeners.
Already familiar with Sonic Youth, but not this album. Not my favorite, but interesting listen
One of Sonic Youth’s weaker albums but still very good!! Some of it was a little bit tough listening since they focus a lot more on dissonance than consonance, but that’s what punk is all about! FAV TRACKS: Catholic Block, Pacific Coast Highway, Hotwire My Heart, Master-Dik LEAST FAV TRACKS: Pipeline/Kill Time, Tuff Gnarl
A nice one, I enjoyed it and really liked some songs, however I believe Sonic Youth have better albums.
Dirty, gritty, raucous soundscape. Standout Tracks: Schizophrenia, (I Got a) Catholic Block, Pipeline / Kill Time, Pacific Coast Highway, Kotton Krown, Master-Dik
Proto-Grunge... sort of a transition album from punk to grunge. Some fun songs, but also some noise.
I thought this album was good. Usually I don't connect well with Sonic Youth's albums, despite the fact that I loved seeing them live. However, this album was very consistent all the way through, and it kept my attention 4/5
An interesting comparison to Goo, it feels like early on Sonic Youth was the perfect name for the band: lound and young-sounding
Aggréablement surpris, très en avance sur son temps comme album. On voit très bien l'influence que ça a eu sur la musique alternative en générale.
"I can't get laid 'cause everyone is dead" (Stereo Sanctity)
I liked this best of any Sonic Youth I’ve listened to so far. Still very raw, alterntaive and experimental but hung on a solid rock armature that keeps it pleasurable to listen to.
Decent entry level noise rock. Good without being too noisy or overwhelming with sound
Solid. One of their better albums.
This however was for me.
I tapped my feet along to a few of the songs. It’s quite catchy, although nothing i will listen to again anytime soon.
Noisy, but poppy. Great record.
First time listening to Sonic Youth, but I'm planning on continuing to listen to them. Fave song from the album: Stereo Sanctity.
As always seems the case with Sonic Youth, I'm scared and enthralled all at once
Slightly too noise-rocky for my tastes, but still very good. First two tracks have a fantastic post-punk grunge feel, but maintain a kind of optimism.
Sonic Youth really starting to find their groove by this album. Love it!
I've always wanted to explore Sonic Youth a little more, so I was pretty excited to see this album for the day. It sounds raw, a bit discombobulated at times - in the best way! There's an edginess, almost like they're coloring outside the lines. Feels a little bit dirty and rough around the edges. I'm gonna add "Sister" to the rotation so I become more familiar with it, I feel like it will grow even more on me.
I liked this album. It's very 90s me
I listened to this record maybe 20 times to try and get a feel for it, which I think says a lot about how creative it is…. After getting to know the songs a bit the noise and dissonance of the arrangements Is pretty fantastic, but the low points for me are generally some cringy vocals. Definitely some allowances for huge creative marks for the use of exceptionally creative noise guitar within basically tight song structures.
This one was weird because I wouldn't have really taken a close look at it if I listened to one single from it, but together as an album it's actually pretty good.
I dig it. It’s not my favourite SY album, but it’s good. Remarkable how innovative they were at this time, how much space they created for other alternative acts and basically paved the way for everything raw, distorted and grungey that I love. OGs of don’t give a fuck coolness.
This sounds great. Drums in particular are magnificent. Really enjoyed schizophrenia and Stereo Sancity Not listened to much Sonic Youth before but reminded me of a heavier Velvet Underground or Joy Division
While Sonic Youth are not my favourites they deliver a strong, surprisingly idea heavy album.
Reminds me of nirvana on a cold rainy day when all you wanna do is hit a joint, play some music and watch MTV.
I don't know what to say about this album. It's the type of heavy music that speaks of my youth, even though this would have come out when I was really little. The sound quality isn't top notch, the musicians only know a couple cords, and yet, and yet... This is an example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Maybe it's the energy of the singer, maybe it's the lyrics, maybe it's some magical ether drawn from the devil himself. But whatever it is, it works. 27/20 bananas. 3.5 stars
I liked it about 70%!
Sonic the Hedgehog ran off with me wife. If anyone sees the blue prick, smash his smug face in. Spikey cunt.
Gritty - exactly what I imagine as indierock in the 90s. While i enjoyed it, there was no song that made me go "wow"
Pretty solid album with some standouts but not enjoyable enough for 4.
first album...leskeddit 10/4/20