This album has a reputation for being some kind of sort of pseudo sell out thing, which is something that only the ’90s alternative scene could have ever ascribed to an album this uncommercial. But Butch Vig is here, and there are recognizable songs, so it must be a sell out!
The truth of the matter is that Butch Vig’s trademark gloss really isn’t apparent at all and Sonic Youth had been writing more accessible music for ages at this point. So the rhythms are, at times, a little more conventional rock, so what? This still every much sounds like Sonic Youth and nobody else.
And that’s really my issue with this record, it sounds like other Sonic Youth albums I’ve heard, with not enough strong songs (to my ears) to rank among their best.
It’s still pretty decent and extremely difficult for a record that supposedly marks their concession to the mainstream, but it’s probably my least favourite of theirs I’ve heard to date.. At least so far.