Sonic Youth's latest opus "Rather Ripped" is a spermy soaked power pop album. The perfect summer record for popping the cork on your third bottle of champagne alone in your basement.
On the opening track "Reena", Kim Gordon mellifluosly coos over syrupy guitars about lesbionic tryists while reassuring her lover that "you keep me coming home again". This is her best outing since Goo. Chuck D was not available for comment. Gone are the guttural growls that marred her past 'avant garde' performances. This is her album. She continues to shine with "Jams Run free" and "Turquoise Boy". Kim's delivery may have mellowed, but her attitude has not. She still remembers the exact dimensions of hell.
Thurston Moore, the godfather of post-punk/ proto-indie, answers her battle cry with "Incinerate" and "Do you believe in Rapture?". Rather Ripped is like the anti-Ira Kaplan/Georgia Hubley (the other NY/NJ power couple) album. RR delves into the mind fucks that are perpetuated by couples in love/lust/ or just settling for you right now mode. With doe eyed abandon Thurston asks 'Do you believe in rapture' as the guitars gurgle below the surface. They never explode into the crescendo that has been expected since "Murray Street". Coitus interruptus. Stop fucking like a rabbit. Pull out and pray you poor bastard, her parents are home. By all accounts I usually enjoy the masturbatory guitar histrionics that usually mark the end of a SY song. With Rather Ripped I found myself enjoying the tension and lack of release. Very tantric.
Lee Renaldo has his usual standout wah-wah track with "Rats". His contributions are always the rug that ties the room together. Fill in your favorite Big Lebowski quote here. Mine is "We are Nihilists. We believe in nothing."
Rather Ripped is a non-saccharine filled "Pop" album. instead of the ohh-laa-laa bullshit, we are given pseudophederine fuelled guitars that gradually melt your face away. It is a pop album that I can embrace. Usually the only pop that I want on a summery Sunday afternoon is the sound of a champagne cork rattling around my basement.