Sonic Youth - Goo [Deluxe Edition] (Cover Artwork)

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth: Goo [Deluxe Edition]Goo [Deluxe Edition] (2005)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Sellout. If there's one word that I could choose to be erased from the vernacular of everyone associated with underground music, it's right there. Jumping to a major label, or even an imprint of one, is seen in no better light by the punk community than the acts of Benedict Arnold himself. Kids g.
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If there's one word that I could choose to be erased from the vernacular of everyone associated with underground music, it's right there. Jumping to a major label, or even an imprint of one, is seen in no better light by the punk community than the acts of Benedict Arnold himself. Kids grow to have such a connection with these bands, seeing them in sweaty basements, having the band sleep on their floors, that this jump to a major is seen as personal disrespect. The equivalent to having your face spit in after the knife is removed from your back. But who are we, as fans, to dissect a band's actions, and pretend that we know the motives and thoughts behind their decisions?

This is something that Sonic Youth knows all too well. A beacon in the underground music community after their landmark 1988 release Daydream Nation, the band was the indie music world's pride and joy. So inevitably, when the band jumped ship to fledgling Geffen records before Goo's recording, the underground was up in arms. So Sonic Youth had one avenue to travel, and that was take their major label budget and release the best record they knew how.

Mission successful. No, it'll never touch what it's predecessor was, but in its own way, Goo truly has a lot to offer. They didn't tone things down, they didn't adhere to mainstream standards, they stuck with what they knew, and the result was as noisy and sonically diverse as anything previously written. Their avant-garde musings and punk backbone are firmly in place, and they let it be known immediately. "Dirty Boots" starts out in a fairly ordinary manner, a laidback track with some quirky rhythms, but by the end Thurston Moore has transformed the track into an instrumental, but he strays away from anything outlandish at the moment. "Kool Thing" is the first track on the album where the string bending, feedback driven guitar work really begins, and this contrasts surprisingly well with the spoken word vocals of song guest Chuck D. The followup, "Mote" is nothing more than seven minutes of free-form instrumentation, with the heightening reverb being momentarily cut into by streaky chord progressions and slinky bass lines. It's not all spastic, though. The haunting sound of Moore's vocals in "Disappearer" is a terrific segue into the great instrumentals that take the song out. Just the layers upon layers of these songs are staggering. Just some subtle strumming on the top is only the tip of the iceberg, as below there's so much to listen for, and so much to take in that even on the seventh and eighth listens you're finding something new. It's a true listening experience.

In addition to the original album, there's not only some extra music on this album, but an entire nother disc to accompany the first. The first disc has some rough B-sides and outtakes, as well as a terrific live version of "The Bedroom" that's able to really capture the essence of the band live in a very enjoyable manner. The real draw though, with the extra content, is on disc number two. Containing extremely rough 8-track demos of the original Goo album, you're able to track all the subtle tweaks and progressions between these rough cuts, and what actually appears on the record. Some songs appear far different from others, some you'll barely be able to tell the difference at all, but if nothing else it's an interesting listen.

There's really just so much to say about any Sonic Youth album that I could write three times this much with ease, but that detracts from the point, which is that there's no reason you shouldn't be at the store tomorrow to pick this up. The sheer amount of extra content is worth it alone. Go on, get it, sellout.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bobby72 (February 7, 2013)

This, sister, daydream nation and dirty are all five stars albums. My opinion though.

shelberz (November 20, 2006)


kill_fftl (July 9, 2006)

your a sellout asshole

chunk_rock (June 12, 2006)

This is probably my favorite album of the 90's it is sonic youths masterpiece

pabstboy (February 1, 2006)

Score is for "Dirty"

plaidical (January 30, 2006)

this band reminds me of how much I hate indie rock hipsters

Anonymous (January 30, 2006)

NOT one of my more favorite sonic youth albums. sister will forever own all. also, chuck d's guest appearance is kind of laughable, and i'm saying that as a PE fan.

Anonymous (January 30, 2006)


Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

i think 'nother' is is in the dictionary actually

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

stream-of-conscienceness rather :(

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

my favourite's actually 'sister'... i love the kim gordon songs on that record. damn. "beauty lies in the eye"... "pch" - just might be my fave sonic youth song EVER.

always loved lee's stream-of-conscience lyrics. "clothes flung out of closets, door knobs falling off"

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

"an entire nother"

an entire other, i presume

Russe11 (January 29, 2006)

Classsy album.

kenjamin (January 29, 2006)

I find this band to be pretty unlistenable. I was so excited about checking their stuff out too.

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

this reads more like a professor ensuring that he plug his most recent book before the end of the lecture. don't push your politics and album reviews with cheezeball bookends on me, pal.

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

raymond pettibon.

Anchors (January 29, 2006)

"anchors you write that little historical bit with such authority, like you were there. but it was 1988. and you weren't there."

Very astute observation, obviously I can't squeak anything past you. No, I wasn't there, but the extremely extensive liner notes tell of all this, and I'm plenty aware of the bands backstory as it is.

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

'Teen Age Riot' is such a good song.


kingofpain (January 29, 2006)

Although I have to admit that I haven't really listened to Sonic Youth much recently, I still think this is a great album. I think I'll go listen now...

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

anchors you write that little historical bit with such authority, like you were there. but it was 1988. and you weren't there.

gladimnotemo (January 29, 2006)

I haven't heard this record, but I love Sonic Youth. The essence of cool in rock and roll. I think the only reason most people buy their records is because of their name (this is also why they're on a major still, I think).

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

More Sonic Youth reviews needed on this site along with a lot of other indie music. Tortoise anyone?

SlackMFr (January 29, 2006)

Sonic Youth you either love 'em or hate 'em. I can't wait to pick up this expanded edition.

danperrone (January 29, 2006)

man, this band just does nothing for me


joeg (January 29, 2006)

great record and thanks for the opening paragraph. this band is 20 years old and continues to put out fantastic songs. and still one of the best live bands i've ever seen.

etwiels88 (January 29, 2006)

Best review I've seen on here in weeks.

youwinalemon (January 29, 2006)

This album's good.

Dante3000 (January 29, 2006)

I think we can all agree that this record is the second best record to have "Goo" in the title.
Next to A Boy Named Goo by The Goo Goo Dolls.

Anonymous (January 29, 2006)

Okay record. This band is one of those bands that is so overrated by the mainstream that a lot of people who would like them don't because they're shoved down everyone's throats.

Personally, their noisier stuff is better, in my opinion, but this isn't trying to be noisy or weird- It's just cool rock songs.


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