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Goo

Sonic Youth

1990

Buy At Rough Trade
Goo
Album Summary

Goo is the sixth full-length studio album by American alternative rock band Sonic Youth, released on June 26, 1990 by DGC Records. For this album, the band sought to expand upon its trademark alternating guitar arrangements and the layered sound of their previous album Daydream Nation (1988) with songwriting on that was more topical than past works, exploring themes of female empowerment and pop culture. Coming off the success of Daydream Nation, Nick Sansano returned to engineer Goo, but veteran producer Ron Saint Germain was chosen by Sonic Youth to finish mixing the album following Sansano's dismissal. Goo was a critical and commercial success upon its release, peaking at number 96 on the US Billboard 200, their highest chart position to date. Although it lacked significant radio airplay, its lead single "Kool Thing", a collaborative effort with Public Enemy's Chuck D, reached number seven on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Since then, Goo has been viewed as one of alternative rock's most important albums, and is considered musically and artistically significant. In 2020, the album was ranked at number 358 on Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums of all time list.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.25

Votes

10586
Genres
Rock
Indie

Reviews

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Fri Jan 22 2021
1

This is the epitome of art for art's sake. It's so far up it's own ass it has become some kind of bagel. Not catchy, interesting, captivating or moving. It's the type of pretentious garbage I absolutely hate. It charted so poorly because it's bad music. It's a cult band, with an Andy Worhol type of self importance so vulgar I barely call it music. But hey, it's cool to be like "the themes explored really speak to the general malaise of the time...." get fucked. 0/10

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Thu Dec 24 2020
4

The album itself isnt that good. Side A is great with Dirty Boots and Kool Thing, but Side B has quite a few duds. Its just not as good as Daydream Nation, Sister or Dirty. Few albums are, though. What, however, is great here, is the album cover. Artwork by Raymond Pettibon. The original image is a paparazzi photograph taken from a 1966 murder trial. In the photo is Maureen Hindley and David Smith who were both key witness in the Moors Murders trial. Maureens sister Myra murdered 5 children and asked David to help bury them. David instead reported his sister-in-law, who got charged with life sentence and the press called her 'the most evil woman in Britain'. Here's the original photo: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ejl3S9aWoAEd-0k?format=jpg&name=small

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Music to drink a gallon of hot, black coffee and smoke 2 packs. Quintessential Gen X

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

Goo has *everything*. A punk ode to Karen Carpenter, a fuck-you/come-on feminist anthem, a robot absolutely screlting the name Mildred Pierce, but most importantly it’s got Goo herself. Slay yas goo mama boots

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Mon Jun 21 2021
3

Hey, this doesn't suck. It's like Sonic Youth finally discovered the magic elements of "song structure" and "composition" and used those to make an album that wasn't unlistenable bullshit noise. Still not, like, good or anything. But it's not awful and that seems to be the bar for the Sonic Youth albums on this list.

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Mon Oct 11 2021
4

Great record! Love the tracks with Kim on vocals, they have a sort of effortless cool to them. Sonic Youth's most commercial album. For some reason I remember thinking this record was kind of uneven but coming back to it now it's pretty strong all around. It is kind of weird to have Chuck D on a track just to say a few kind of cliche rapper things in the background. Weird 90's thing to do (REM's Radio Song being a similar example).

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

When I first came across sonic the hedgehog, all the jizz just got stuck in his spikes. He wasn't the easiest to clean. Made him faster though.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

I thoroughly enjoy this album by Sonic Youth. I would say it is rather Goo-d!

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Fri Jul 30 2021
2

“Noise rock” using “unorthodox guitar tunings” yeah, there’s probably a reason people use “orthodox guitar tunings” : it doesn’t sound like unpleasant noise.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Fantastic, blew me away. A masterpiece of noisy alt rock.

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Sun Jul 25 2021
5

Incredible riffs and catchy ass songs. Just a great alt rock album very fun to listen to. 9/10 for me

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

I have this album cover on a t shirt, so I'd better give it 5 stars.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
5

fuckin great album - 10/10 it’s not for everyone but I love it

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Sun Jan 17 2021
4

I love the start of this album you get a mix of noise, psychedelic, pop mix especially with the female voices starting in the track ‘Tunic’. The album felt very fresh even over 20 years after release, it seems like it was very experimental for the time (not sure if other Sonic Youth albums are similar). Even the heavy noise tracks like ‘Mildred Pierce’ and ending with ‘Titanium Expose’ were fantastic for keeping the dark & psychedelic mood of the album. The only track that felt massively out of place was ‘Cinderella’s Big Break’ as it was more upbeat than the track before and after, it felt like a massive jump in the movement of the album.

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Sat Jul 17 2021
4

Vous qui fréquentez ce générateur suivez probablement de très près ma progression dans cette liste des 1001. Vous savez dès lors très bien que j'ai donné quatre étoiles à Sonic Youth pour leur album Dirty. Rebelote avec celui-ci.

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Sat Jan 15 2022
2

An overrated album by an overrated band. People who put this poster up in their rooms need to be punched in the nose.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Просто классика 90-ых и, наверное, лучший альбом Соников!

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

3 stars for music, extra star for doing really cool shit with their guitars

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Fri Aug 13 2021
4

Punk meets New Wave. She is a prominent as a singer, I like her catatonic and monotonous voice, shameless and bored. Really fitting to the era. (7/10) Favourite Tracks: Kool Thing

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Simple, catchy riffs. I like the song writing better on this LP than the debut. And the feedback excursions that bookend the songs don’t go on for as long. Giving Kim Gordon the mic a little more was a good idea. Kool Thing is a great song.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
4

One of the best albums of this era - still sounds exciting and not crazily overplayed unlike some others [edit: did not know the origin of the cover art, hmm..; Chuck D's contribution to Kool Thing is both utterly pointless and years ahead of its time, a real trendsetter for contemporary pond life such as DJ Khaled]

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Tue Feb 09 2021
3

I’m a big fan of sonic youth. Post-Punk Shoegaze with a bit of garage punk in there. I love what they do with two guitars and pedal fx. Their albums vacillate between symphonic distorted euphoric trances and obnoxious whiny punk rock. Whether or not I love one of their albums always depends on which dominates the album. Disapearer, Dirty boots, Cinderella’s big score are three of the former, solid sonic build up culminated by a great climax and fx driven sonic breakdown to bring it home softly. I’m able to disappear into these songs and the wall of harmonic distortion they create—somehow they are able to find a harmonic balance in there. But then there’s always a few songs with Kim monotone spoken word about something I don’t care about—generally these are the songs I skip. Mildred pierce was going great until someone started squealing. Sonic Youth can be so hit or miss, but it’s always compelling, generally an album reflects like a grassroots zine, edgy, experimental, sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, rarely boring. Compared to some of the other one note albums we’ve listened to this one has a lot more to say. That being said there’s a few sonic youth albums that shine a bit brighter, so this garners a 3 from me.

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Sat Feb 18 2023
3

Think I’ve realised that I like noise rock, however this album could’ve been more polished and less pretentious

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Sat Feb 25 2023
3

ah yes, "Kool Thing" of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock fame. Finally Hmmm what to give an album that you were enjoying, but the last 15 minutes kinda sucked in your humble opinion? Mildred Pierce is on Sonic Youth's most popular tracks on Spotify, wtf Didn't connect that track 2 was about Karen Carpenter; lines like "I feel like I'm disappearing" are heartbreaking, combined with that menacing minor-key riff it's a chilling moment near the beginning of the album. Speaking of menacing riffs, "Disappearer"'s is simple but effective 3*** before I change my mind HL: "Dirty Boots", "Tunic", "Kool Thing", "Disappear" February 24, 2023

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Wed Jan 03 2024
3

My feelings have been mixed on Goo since I first got into SY, a year or two after this came out. I shunned it and Dirty for being shiny and on a major label, an opinion I cribbed from Melody Maker, but Dirty Boots was the first SY song I heard, and I still love it; live versions accompanying the single sold me completely on the band. This does not have the weird majesty of its predecessors, but has a fair haul of good songs, and a classic in DB. Cinderella’s Big Score, Mote and Kool Thing are also favourites from that period. Returning to Goo, there’s a strong nostalgic pull to the sleek, bendy guitar howl they were into then, which still thrills me; they were a revelation, the first time I realised guitars didn’t have to follow the late-60’s blues rock templates to sound cool. A good record, but I prefer the contemporaneous Live In Irvine recording, which can be grabbed from the band’s generous Bandcamp page.

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Mon May 24 2021
2

I dont really get the hype for Sonic Youth. It's pretty generic and up it's own ass.

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Sat Apr 30 2022
2

The style is interesting and different but I'm not a fan of the music itself so far. Their talk singing style is odd. Not my style.

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Fri Oct 02 2020
5

Perhaps offensive to the true Sonic Youth fans (who I count myself among) but an excellent record. It's got that poppy grungey quality to it but Sonic Youth know they're the cooler older brother and the play the part of it. Probably one of the most baffling albums to bubble outside of the mainstream with their signature dissonant guitar tones and progressive meandering structures. Kim and Thurston on vocals kind of mix together cartoony irreverence with overt politics and dialogue with pop culture imagery for an overall pretty socially progressive but lighthearted time. I think it's a very natural counterpart to the guitar bible that is Daydream Nation.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
5

This was a really fun listen. I have this album, but it's been awhile. The trading off of lead vocals was really fun. Knowing the story behind Kool Thing added depth to the song.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
5

Incredible. Way way ahead of its time.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

Easily my favorite SY album. Maybe not their best, but still classic.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Weird, Experimental, Noise Music. Grunge before grunge.

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Sat May 08 2021
5

I really enjoyed it. They get some wild sounds on their instruments.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Noisy as he’ll I won’t them

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Another deserved 5* for the Youth. Probably there most accessible album and it just never sounds dated! I love it!!

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Fri Dec 03 2021
5

Sería un poco repetitivo seguir hablando de Sonic Youth ya para su tercer disco en esta lista. Siguen cuadrando mucho con mis gustos. Este es el que siempre se me ha hecho su mejor disco; mucho más melódico con canciones más estructuradas y más accesible que los otros trabajos que realizaron. No se pierde el lado experimental pero se acercan un poco más a la gente. A pesar de todo lo que me gusta el grupo sigo pensando que tres discos fue demasiado. Probablemente solo este y Daydream Nation eran suficientes, o incluso si solo hubiera estado este disco presente podría haber sido más que suficiente. Mucho de mi agrado, ya hable bastante de Sonic Youth, un poco sobrerrepresentado en la lista.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

Major label sell out bastards. Playing songs with hooks and tunes and everything. Bastards.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

It's very good, not as good as daydream nation, but that's a pretty high bar.

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

Good music shouldn't always just be sweet sounding. It should shock you at times too. "Mildred Pierce" and "Scooter and Jinx" did just that. This was awesome!

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Thu Mar 24 2022
5

Réinventer le rock est, à chaque décennie, de plus en plus difficile. Sonic Youth a prouvé sa capacité de le faire ainsi que son génie avec cet album. Mon seul regret est de ne pas l'avoir acheté en vinyle quand je l'ai vu à bon prix dernièrement. Imbécile!

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

Guitar make loud noise. Me like.

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Wed May 25 2022
5

Always love when I come across an album that has so obviously influenced a heap of my own favourite bands.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

Great album. Ice Cube is woefully underused, but apart from that. All good!

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

This is much more accessible than Teenage Daydream while still remaining recognizably Sonic Youth. The layered alternating guitar is front and center and musique concrète is used throughout which lends the album an experimental feel. The studio techniques used in the recording of this album were also similarly experimental and often led to issues getting final takes. The lyrical content often centers the experience of women in American society and issues a challenge to the expectations. This is best exemplified in 'Kook Thing,' a dialogue between Kim Gordon and Public Enemy's Chuck D.

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Mon Jun 27 2022
5

For me, this album will be forever matched with that Hal Hartley movie ..Simple Men from 30 years ago. Since then I have forgotten all about that movie except for the out-of-nowhere dance scene on Kool Thing. The album nicely fits in the 5-star album sequence: Evol - Sister - Daydream Nation - Goo - Dirty - it might not be so universally strong as the other four but easily 5 stars of course.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
5

I totally listened to Goo in high school at some point, but I only clearly remember “Kool Thing” (what a classic). “Dirty Boots” really sets the scene — especially if conceptualizing Goo as a concept album — saturated in teenage rebellion, adrenaline, shock value, and a keen eye on the world surrounding. The guitar in the second half is quite nice, and the song ends much calmer than it began. “Tunic” - here’s Kim. This song touches on Hollywood and fame, with Kim telling her mom that she made it in the music industry. “Mary-Christ” - of the three so far, this one is a pretty straight punk song. Still great! Ah “Kool Thing” - the effect that they put on the main guitar riff makes it sound like it’s echoing off the walls of a cave. The dialogue between Chuck D and Kim in the middle is a dreamlike absurdity, wherein a teenage girl asks the rebellious object of her affections how he will liberate her and all girls from male white corporate oppression. Love it. “Mote” - probably the song I remember the least out of all of them. Probably the most melodic out of what I’ve heard thus far (concerning the vocal lines), and then it erupts into a kind of experimental noisy atmosphere. “My Friend Goo” is a riot grrrl punk ditty. Reminds me of Bratmobile, though they might have been a little later. “Disappearer” - one of the less memorable ones, but has interesting lyrics. “Mildred Pearce” - similar vein as Mary Christ and My Friend Goo — riot grrrl/Pixies situation with Frank Black-esque screaming. “Cinderella’s Big Score” - experimental guitar soundscapes still going strong plus a funny title. This is what I think of when I think Sonic Youth! There’s two songs left.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

Goo is always my recommendation as a starting point for anyone wanting to go on a Sonic Youth tour. It is rough and - with the layered guitars - noisy enough compared to their previous records. On the other hand, it has acquired a bit more of an alt-rock appeal because there are some more structured songs with a starting and end point. For me this album has the perfect balance between the two giants on both sides of this album (Daydream Nation and Dirty). There really isn't a note wrong on Goo and the song Disappearer is the best they've ever released. And from here you can slowly return to the delicious raw creativity of Sister and EVOL. But this album is rock solid.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

This album got a lot of play from me in the early 90's. Brings back lots of memories.

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Sat Aug 27 2022
5

It's great. Tunic is my favorite Sonic Youth song. I may be biased.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

I needed to hear this when i did, thanks i feel so much better

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Thu Sep 01 2022
5

I really enjoy Sonic Youth and this one takes up where Daydream Nation left off. I think this one is a little more accessible, for both good and bad. But I really liked it.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Textbook definition of 'cool'. An absolute classic.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

I listen this album almost all week since I discovered Sonic youth :)

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Sun Nov 06 2022
5

Another that I listened to a bunch in college. This was more of a workout album (incline bike, along with the 2006 Dylan album. It was a weird time for me). If I was older than 3 in 1990, this probably would have been what I listened to every day. I still need to do the real deep dive on Sonic Youth (from what I remember, and hopefully will be reminded more of during this list, is that Goo was my favorite, Daydream Nation and Dirty are pretty great too, and Rather Ripped was the current one that I listened to a lot), and I think I'm far enough away from their breakup to not feel too bad that I only saw them live once (at Lollapalooza!, but in 2006). Kool Thing goes so hard, I'm glad millions of people got to hear it in a Guitar Hero game. I don't think I've listened to Mote or other Leo Renaldo stuff since I found out he was a Deadhead and I became more of one too, and realizing the noise jam here could have been on side 4 of Live/Dead. Probably a 4.5 on the AllMusic rating scale, but I know if I was a teen when this came out and listened to it a million times over and over, it would be a 5, so it gets a 5 here.

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Wed Nov 09 2022
5

I only got into Sonic Youth quite recently, and I couldn't quite get through Goo because of its more artsy, angular bits. But now I love those bits as well. "Tunic" has got to be one of the saddest songs ever.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

This is one of Sonic Youth's most accessible albums, but that doesn't mean that it is an easy listen. Still, if you want to enter the world of this legendary but strange band, this is definitely a must listen.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

I listened to almost nothing but sonic youth for a couple of years in my twenties - their albums are hardwired. Takes me back

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

PREFS : Dirty Boots, Tunic (Song for Karen), Mary-Christ, Kool Thing, My Friend Goo, Disappearer, Cinderella's Big Score, Titanium Exposé MOINS PREF : Scooter + Jinx

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

One of my favourite albums of all time. I could bottle what it was like to be 17 this would be the essence

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Tue Jan 10 2023
5

listened to this on LSD before it was released (advanced cassette copy sent to W***)

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Thu Jan 12 2023
5

All the rad Sonic Youth vibes but with actual songs now!

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Sat Feb 04 2023
5

Yup, this is my type of music. Especially like Disappearer. It might have the best album art so far.

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Mon Feb 13 2023
5

Definitely not Sonic Youth’s best, but I love it just the same. They’re a band I can never fault…

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Sun Feb 19 2023
5

I love this album. I might download more of it (right now I think I just have Dirty Boots and Kool Thing). Clearly this is a type of sound I prefer compared to yesterday’s Rod Stewart album.

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Mon Mar 13 2023
5

Before Nirvana made it big and finished the job, Sonic Youth had caught the eye of majors and started the death of the glam rock era. The release of Goo made them one of the coolest bands around at that time and it still hold up really well to this day. It may not be as brave as Daydream Nation, but their gentle dip into accessibility definitely helped building the 90's musical landscape.

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Tue Mar 14 2023
5

One of my all time favourite albums. A couple of tracks aren’t amazing, but some of the others are - Disappearer being one. Love it!

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Thu Apr 13 2023
5

Kim Gordon’s vocals are sweet. Her spoken word style on Tunic (Song for Laren) are reminiscent of Ruth Radelet of Chromatics. Awesome band sidebar alert: Chromatics are in my top 10. Check them out. I already conveyed how they kick major ass in my Cocteau Twins Treasure review and how Kill For Love is a great album to start with in my Portishead Dummy side bar. Well, I’ll amplify that by telling you Night Drive and Cherry are great albums too. Thurston Moore’s vocals work for me too. Disappearer is a good example. I was surprised to hear that Mildred Pierce is such a turnoff for others. I think music has a great groove for the first 1:40. The last 30 seconds do take a bit of a weird turn. I find the last 2 minutes of Mote to be more annoying than that because it’s just noise for an extended time that could easily be cut. I like Mote too, and I’m pointing out that there are less appealing parts of the album to me. So I don’t understand the fingernails dragging across the chalk board that others hear. This album is great. Never thought I would love it this much. My nit pick are the pockets of feedback, distorted screams, and superfluous noise sprinkled throughout. I could do without them, but they are kind of part of the package. The noise for the sake of noise bits remind me of The Melvins. Ah…King Buzzo’s hair is immaculate. Anyway one time I saw The Melvins they opened their second set with at least 15 minutes of noise seemingly intended to tell the audience fuck you. It’s like, I could do without it, but then again it’s part of their identity. A 4.5 that gets rounded up.

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Thu Apr 13 2023
5

Fabulous album. I love the sound of Kim's voice on this one. Lots of memories.

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Wed Apr 19 2023
5

This is my favorite Sonic Youth album sometimes. They have like four or five 5* albums for me, and... This is one of them. So many good songs here, no bad songs... An all time favorite for sure, safely in my top 50 of all time. Maybe top 20. It's an incredible album front to back IMHO. I can listen to it three times in a row and not be bored. I particularly love Mote, noise section and all. This is definitely an album you need to be able to like some noise for, but... The riffs on every instrument just kick ass. Sonic Youth showed me how noise and discordance in music can be meaningful and artistic. This album was key to my current understanding of music as a whole. Yup, easy 5/5, can't wait for more Sonic Youth on this list.

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Wed May 24 2023
5

mildred pierce and titanium expose goated frfr

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Thu Jun 01 2023
5

Великолепно .Классика гранжа

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Thu Jun 15 2023
5

Probably their most accessible album. Packed with great songs, jams, guitars and the kitchen sink.

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Thu Jun 22 2023
5

Really enjoyed this one. Intelligent, carefully crafted sound disguised behind a rough production exterior. Will return to this. Highlight was Disappearer.

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Thu Jul 06 2023
5

Not sure I'd like this, but I kind of really did

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Fri Jul 28 2023
5

The best bits are the feedback parts. Beautifully noisy. Love this album.

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Fri Aug 04 2023
5

Legendary album. From the cover to the fuzz about it, Goo is one of the most influential pieces of alternative rock from this era. Honestly, I believe that if Nevermind had never existed, this album would had taken a piece of its fame. The track list is impeccable. The voices, sublime (Kim is at her best here). The guitar tone is raw, engaging, and very well produced. Outstanding!

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Wed Aug 16 2023
5

god. the power of kool thing. the gift that is my mothers music to me. hot girls named kim in punk bands. this record is a reminder that with finding music when you know you know, so if you’re asking yourself “how do you know?”, then that’s your answer, the answer is no.

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Tue Aug 22 2023
5

After listening to the last Sonic Youth album (Dirty), I got a better inkling of the attraction. But I certainly didn’t need the other three albums which I enjoyed to a much lesser degree. Now it seems the musical gods see fit to push the limit and grant me yet another Sonic Youth album to listen to. I can’t say that I felt happy about that… I was relieved to discover Dirty Boots was an excellent song opening the album. Tunic (Song for Karen) was really interesting - I’m digging the talky vocals that would recur throughout this album. I was surprised at themes and really enjoyed both the sound. And - WTF? - songs for Karen Carpenter and Mildred Pierce?! How fun to be dreading the play button and then 50 minutes later immediately press play again to restart the album. I feel fortunate to have this is come up near the end of the Sonic Youth albums. Goo definitely left my opinion of this band on a very high note! Terrific!

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Tue Aug 22 2023
5

Wait. What's happening? A Sonic Youth album I actually like? And really really like, at that? This is good.

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Mon Sep 18 2023
5

Solid. Let's do it again 🤠

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Sun Oct 15 2023
5

Wow this band is great, I’m gonna go look up their interviews

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