Sonic Nurse

Sonic Youth

Sonic Nurse

2004's Sonic Nurse follows in the spirit of Murray Street, with songs that intend to be more accessible than Sonic Youth's more avant-garde releases. The drier sound brought about by new member/producer Jim O'Rourke is still in effect, making the group sound much more concise as a result. Bassist Kim Gordon handles vocals on four tracks, including the expressive opener, "Pattern Recognition," and the wistful "I Love You Golden Blue." Thurston Moore gives tenderness a shot with the melodic and restrained "Unmade Bed" and bops along with something approaching pop for "Dripping Dream," where even the extended instrumental coda stays melodic and well-thought out. How odd when the aggressive tunes on a Sonic Youth album—in this case, "Kim Gordon and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream" and "New Hampshire"—are the ones that sound out of place. But the punk aggression is at odds with much of the album's reflective tone. Sonic Nurse manages to craft new territory for Sonic Youth without losing the band's soul in the process.

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