Random sonic sugar treats for no one in particular
Micah Newman | Fort Worth, TX United States | 05/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This record is most impressive for its sound - the EQ is just scrumptious. Recording engineers and musicians should take a listen (past the lo-fi, muted acoustics of the first song, the atypical "Winner's Blues"). It's the best-recorded SY album yet, but strangely, instead of using this kind of technical prowess to record the kind of sprawling 7-minute+ epics with multilayered noise breakdowns which grace other albums such as Daydream Nation, Goo, and Washing Machine, the songs here are simple, straightforward, mostly three-minute vamps of a kind not found in their catalog since, oh, Confusion Is Sex, if one really needed a comparison. EJSTANS is a real curveball - a major departure from the flamboyant extroversion of Dirty. A lot of Kim Gordon's songs here have a kind of glistening resonance that is wonderful to behold - viz. "Bull In The Heather", "Skink", "Doctor's Orders", and particularly "Sweet Shine". Thurston takes command of the two-chord skronkers, which often have an abstract beauty of their own, although I could do without the grating "Androgynous Mind."You've got to admire the kind of self-assuredness that would enable this band to record an album as aggressively unconventional as this, regardless of major label expectations, and after their ascendancy into the new practically-mainstream "Alternative" genre (that absurdity of absurdities) fostered by Nirvana in the early 90's. Speaking of which, producer Butch Vig seems to be something of a fifth wheel here - you can hear that for all intents and purposes, this is a self-produced album. I read in an interview that on occasion while recording, he'd ask for a second take on a song, and they'd simply refuse. The band are in complete command of their craft here, and they need no one but themselves to help them prove it. Uncompromising and dedicated to the last, Sonic Youth are truly a band without peers."
SY's most overlooked album
Zen Station | The Graceful Swans of Never | 06/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"And I don't really see why. Longtime fans call it their poppiest, and while it's definitely the mellowest, that doesn't mean that it's not noisy or self-indulgent for the mainstream. While the lyrics don't mean all that much, it adds up the eccentricness of the album, making it more fun with each listen. About the only other flaw with this album is that Lee Ranaldo doesn't sing on any tracks on this album."Bull in the Heather" is a classic, as is its video with that Le Tigre girl cameoed in it. Kim has an excellent voice on it, as well as it being loved among the fans. The outro part sounds real cool.Opener "Winner's Blues" is a real nice track, as it's an acoustic-like track, a brilliant track on this album.I just love "In the Mind of the Bourgeois Reader". It's a punk-like track here, probably the fastest one, and Thurston sounds as if he's having a lot of fun during the recording of it. Then it goes into "Sweet Shine" the only song with any real length on the album. It's a great love song.She has some pretty interesting tracks as well. Her style overall has a sexy sound to it. "Bone" is very awesome, I love the energy of the drums on it, then the chords are well-progressed. It's just a real memorable one on this album. She sings 7 of the 14 songs.'Experiental Jet Set, Trash and No Star' is something that really shines on track 12 "Tokyo Eye", a very noisy song. It's very awesome to listen to either in the car or on your stereo.This one's good for introducing people to SY. I got this January of this year, and I think it's excellent. There are some flaws, but overall, I think it's pretty good. The songs are very short, which helps, 'cuz it doesn't really contain enough epic stuff. So yeah, I am recommending it here. Esp. if you don't like the mainstream much and think that this sounds cool, like I do."
Long Time Fan
Bone Machinery | 02/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have never understood the backlash with this record. I must have got a different copy than everyone else. Being familiar with both "Kool Thing" and then "100%", "Bull in the Heather" did exactly for me what it was intended to do. "Experimental..." became a landmark in my life and this album actually urshed me into a world that I know I belong to. With this record I became attached to a band that I hadn't had feelings for since I first heard the Beatles. I am proud to say this was my first Sonic album at the tender age of 12. Had the delicacy not been there I may have never bought the next SY record (which happened to be "Daydream Nation")
11 years later I still love to spin my copy (in beautiful blue vinyl) all while where the "Experimental... t-shirt, I bought so many years ago. This album plays like an audio yearbook allowing me to transport back to when I first heard it. God bless 1994.
I make no claim that this is SY's finiest hour but it is certainly not thier weakest effort. (leave that to NYC Ghosts and Flowers).
I can't get enough of "Doctor's Orders"
Not my favorite SY, but good listening
S. R Robertson | Oh Henry? | 01/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stripped down and actually not self indulgent this time, 'Experimental Jet Set..." lacks the supernaturally absorbing vibe of other SY masterpeices; instead, it gives the listener more brief, 3 or 4 minute average structured glimpses into their strange world of grunge guitars, lyrical confusion, and gritty/imperfect production. Gordon's songs are similar to her contributions on A Thousand Leaves and Washing Machine, the frequently recurring plunge into the mindsets of young isolated youngsters with a haunting curiousity for the unknown (such as the suggestive sexual exploration of "Bone", the 'paranormal desert at night' feeler "Skink", the naive and unsuspecting misfithood of "Bull In THe Heather", and the album's best track- "Sweet Shine" which is more of an exuberant trip back to a beautiful place where she was born rather than a teenage experience). Her other songs match up with a good portion of Thurston's on this record-cynical, opinionated views of certain situations. This is portrayed on her part with "Doctor's Orders" (about a perfect, preppy girl trying to cure an orgasm problem and ending up being addicted to the drugs) and "Quest For THe Cup" (actually that one borders between personal experience and cynic's view, but it doesn't matter really.)Thurston's contributions in this area include the great "Androgynous Mind" (a sardonic look at religiously homophobic behaviour in common males), "Waist" (young teens who throw away their lives rather than trying to make something of themselves), "Self Obsessed And Sexy" (about a love/hate relationship with a schizophrenic) and "In THe Mind Of The Bourgeouis Reader" (all pure cynicism and beatnik culture, "We don't care about Yogi Bear and Fonzy's ponytail and dirty hair, so get back in the boat!"). Thurston's other songs fall in the uncatergorizable confusion seen moreso in older records, like the fragmented rapist imagery of "Starfield Road" or the scifi meditating melodrama "Tokyo Eye", can't forget the free association of "Screamng Skull" (Upon re-peering through William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, I found those exact words. Not surprising since Sonic Youth, like me, owe alot of lyrical inspiration to Mr. Burroughs). Moore also has an SY first, the lofi acoustic ballad "Winner's Blues"...The bonus track which combines a Japanese voice and guitar feedback is also worth an honorable mention...but the true ender is, and I must say it again, the lovely & transcendant "Sweet Shine". uoiuoip y yu889 blurpity 666 by luck"