"100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s" (Rolling Stone, 1989)
"100 Alternative Albums" (Spin, 1995)
"Top 99 Albums of `85 to `95" (Alternative Press, 1995)
"The Essential 200 Rock Records" (Rolling Stone, 1997)
"Top 100 Albums of All Time" (New Musical Express, 2003)
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Member CD Reviews
from SEATTLE, WA
Reviewed on 2/8/2007...
It's a classic. 1988 Came out the same year as Public Enemy's "It Take a Nation of Millions" and competed for the top slot of critics "best of year" lists.
Daydream Nation - Noise Perfected
Lance G. | Canada | 10/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're one to follow along with the music critics and read those painfully subjective "Best Albums of all Time" lists, chances are you have seen "Daydream Nation" listed pretty high on some of them. Sonic Youth have always been a critics' darling, and at times it's difficult to understand why. If you listen to Sonic Youth prior to "Daydream Nation", you'll find a complex, almost confusing catalogue of songs crafted around what is essentially noise - feedback and distortion are featured quite prominantly in a number of SY's songs, and although there is no denying the originality and uniqueness of this approach to songwriting, it is certaintly an acquired taste.
"Daydream Nation" still features these destortion-laden tracks, but they no longer feel as formless or frustratingly complex as they once did. On the contrary, SY managed to merge this once chaotic sound seemlessly together with both structure and melody, and the results are nothing short of staggering. It is obvious from the very beginning of "Teen Age Riot" that you are in for quite an experience. The fast-paced, energetic guitar riff and snare rim clicks that follow Kim Gordon's dreamy vocal introduction is, for me, one of the single most amazing musical moments I've ever experienced, and it always manages to bring a smile to my face. Although "Teen Age Riot" is, without a doubt, the greatest song off this album (it's just the greatest song period), the remaining 13 tracks are still worthy of your undivided attention. "Silver Rocket" is a fantastic high-energy number that shows you that this album has no intention of slowing down. "The Sprawl" features some amazing guitar work from Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, and "Cross the Breeze" is a testament to the dynamic nature of the album itself, beginning with a beautiful, slow-paced guitar riff just before transitioning seemlessly into a fast-paced punk rock track.
Another thing that makes this album great is the fact that every member is at the top of their game. Thurston Moore, as usual, delivers the best tracks available on the album - Teen Age Riot, Silver Rocket, Total Trash, but the other members definitely hold their own. Lee Ranaldo is a force to be reckoned with, and he is better represented here than on any other SY album - tracks like "Rain King", "Hey Joni", and, one of the highlights of the album, "Eric's Trip", demonstrate his enormous skill as a songwriter. Even Kim Gordon shines on tracks such as "Kissability" and "Cross the Breeze". And of course, one of the greatest elements of SY is the tremendous skill of Steve Shelley, who's high-energy and innovative drumming provides the fuel that pushes these tracks along.
As is obvious, I have nothing but praise for this album. Not only is this Sonic Youth's most accessible work, but it is, without a doubt, their greatest accomplishment. That being said, I say this as a huge fan of indie and alternative rock. This album is NOT for everybody (the exception being "Teen Age Riot" - every person on the planet should hear that song), and I would use caution before purchasing it. If you are a fan of indie or post-punk, then by all means get Daydream Nation. I would even recommend it to those who are simply curious and want to expand their musical borders - Daydream Nation and Sonic Youth opened up a whole new world of music for me, and despite the many wonderful artists and albums I have discovered since my first listen of Daydream, I still find myself returning to it again and again. The fact is this is simply one of the greatest albums ever made, and as long as people continue to listen to music with guitars, this album will always have a place."