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EVOL

Sonic Youth Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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1. Green Light
2. Star Power
3. Secret Girl
4. Tom Violence
5. Death To Friends
6. Shadow Of A Doubt
7. Marilyn Moore
8. In The Kindom # 19
9. Modonna, Sean And Me
10. Bubblegum

Product Description

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New York City's Lower East Side has always attracted bohemian freaks looking to shock the world, but with EVOL (Love spelled backwards)--their third album after a live tape and several EPs--Sonic Youth finally figured a way to make their skronk count. Combining alternate guitar tunings with nearly linear songwriting, SY proved they could harness their energy into a combustible engine. The multititled closer, "Expressway to Yr. Skull" (or "Madonna, Sean, and Me"), is pure apocalyptic beauty, while "Shadow of a Doubt" succeeds by being more subdued and suggestive. --Rob O'Connor

Product Description

Evol is the third studio album from Sonic Youth, originally released in 1986 on SST Records. The album is notable for being the first with new drummer Steve Shelley, replacing Bob Bert, and foreshowing signs of the band transitioning away from their noise-rock past and toward a greater rock sensibility. The record marks the second album for the band in which it had worked with New York singer/performance artist Lydia Lunch. Lunch had shared vocal duties on Bad Moon Rising's 'Death Valley '69' and on this record she co-wrote the tune 'Marilyn Moore.' 'Shadow of a Doubt' takes a great part of its lyrical imagery from the Hitchcock film Strangers on a Train: Met a stranger on a train/you'll kill him and I'll kill her/swear it wasn't meant to be. Mike Watt played bass on the track ;In the Kingdom #19.' The band encouraged him to play it shortly after the fellow band member D. Boon of Minutemen died in a car crash. Coincidentally, the song is also about a car crash. On the vinyl format of the album, the time length for 'Expressway to Yr. Skull' was indicated by the symbol for infinity; the final moment of the song featured a locked groove, making it theoretically endless.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars no doubt here July 12 2004
By ryan
Format:Audio CD
sonic youth's earliest years don't let you down like some many great bands did. "evol" is a 39 min journey of 10 tracks of whirling guitars, off-melody vocals and screeching, noisy guitar feedback. it's an experimental guitarist's wonder. it is the first step in sonic youth's successful, long, LONG career, and still going.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute masterpiece July 25 2003
Format:Audio CD
An absolute masterpiece of rock and surely one of the top rock albums of all time. Taking Glenn Branca's teachings into the punk three-minute song arena, Sonic Youth have produced what can only be called a Dream Factory, churning out sound explosions that will carve their own way into your skull.
Brilliant ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars artcore rules March 4 2003
Format:Audio CD
SY have to be one of the most creative bands ever. with songs such as tom violence, which is excellently crafted song or green light, you cannot go wrong. there is the epic "expressway to your skull (also known as madonna, sean and me) full of nosie and wonderful sounds that only SY can produce from a a guitar.
i love the last song bubblegum which is quirky and quaint and then there is the haunting and silent beauty shadow of a doubt. amazing stuff that you need to hear
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not their greatest Jan. 24 2003
Format:Audio CD
This cd is good but not great. The production is poor which denies the band to fulfill their sonic sound potential which they would later produce on albums like 'goo'. The best tracks here are the haunting, whispered masterpiece 'Shadow of a doubt' and the acidy 'Green Light'. After this not much as the band overindulge with their instruments while the production is so shoddy it doesn't sound the finished project. If you're a sonic youth head help yourself and enjoy but if you're an outsider it's not really worth the listen('Shadow of a doubt' aside) go and buy 'Goo' instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars if you 'suk for honesty'... May 30 2002
Format:Audio CD
A nice dose of inner-city mindtripping that takes you along on a slowly meandering subway of catharsis, love, confusion, and violence...basically good ol' Sonic Youth...a band with the fullest potential to take you on a journey of self-experience...
It starts out with "Tom Violence", a song about going away from home to get experience, finding the contradictions in one's anarchic philosopphy ("My violence is a number/Find it in the father/Find it in a girl")...it then proceeds to a great moodpeice "Shadow Of a doubt" which conveys imagery of a pre-ordained destiny from many years ago to meet a person, then using spiritual methods to explore each other, all this beside eerie and exploding guitars..."Starpower" is a beautiful punkish love ballad, it's other romantic equivalent "Green Light" is shadowy and sensual, when Sonic Youth do love songs they make it curious and beautiful...
"In The Kingdom 19" is the best track, as well as the most talked-of and most known track, a fast spoken-word narration of a man crashing and going to live off in the woods with an animal he almost killed, thrown together at the speed of someone actually crashing, it's a classic..."The Boy Who Can Enjoy Invisibilty" (which I don't think is the actual name)is more stripped-down, gleeming in claustrophobia with faint pianos and paranormal lyrics (always gives me a mental picture of a girl levitating in a dusty attic)..."Marilyn Moore" is as well a more eroded arrangement, but more chaotic than the latter, imploding with desperation and confused anger...
"Espressway To Your Skull" (a.k.a. The Crucifixtion Of Sean Penn) is the best song, an apocalyptic masterpeice as another reviewer said. makes you wanna kill Cliafornia girls and find the meaning of feeling good...
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5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful artsy wonder Jan. 27 2002
Format:Audio CD
I don't own half of all the Sonic Youth recordings, and I don't pretend to catch all the hidden nuances and meanings lurking in this release. However, I must say that from what I've heard of SY so far, this is my favorite album. Though my favorite individual songs ('Washing Machine','Sweet Shine', etc.) are usually on other releases, this album is a sheer masterpiece on both the conceptual level and judging from pure enjoyment. It's taken me a while to piece together what Sonic Youth is actually up to in their music, but they seem to pull it off flawlessly here. Conceptually, this album is ingeniously constructed; combining the songform with the infamous noisey drones and chaotic bursts, sometimes several times in a single track, SY manages to form a sort of theme album that gives off the same dreamy vibes throughout its duration. The carefree-ness and unorthodoxy in terms of the audio image makes the album more of a work of art than a so-called 'rock CD' (which is largely why SY is considered art-rock, I assume). The melodic quality of the music here is superb. Unless they've got me totally fooled, SY wrote many of these songs using very subtle counterpoint and unconventional melodies that seem so dissonant at first that the listener is tempted to write it off from the start. 'Green Light' is a perfect example. One time, at the beginning few minutes of the song, my mom walked in and actually laughed and said 'In my day these guys would have never gotten a record deal'. Now, to be fair, she didn't have enough time to analyze it.. but my point remains the same. If listened to carefully, this song is actually quite lovely and emotionally expressive even though the notes seem to fight each other at every turn. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Beginning Of Sonic Youth's Grand Trilogy
Evol is what many people consider to be the first installment in a 'trilogy' of albums from Sonic Youth that many consider masterpieces. Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2003 by Tony Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex Death and God
(...)Everything you've read about this album is true. It's dark, beautiful, and mysterious. It was Sonic Youth's creative apex, seeming almost a manifestation of some way-cool New... Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2001 by Xis10shell
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than daydream??
I'm not sure but it is somewhat more succesful on a thematic level,although if you were to ask me what the phrase thematic level meant i'd probally be hard pressed for an... Read more
Published on July 7 2001 by Jess
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy
This is one of the standouts in Sonic Youth's massive library of music. All the songs on here are constructed great and flow into one another. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2000 by Colin
5.0 out of 5 stars good God this is an amazing album
I got this one many months ago and probably listen to it once a week! I am fairly new to the whole Sonic Youth thing. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2000 by "saint_artaud"
4.0 out of 5 stars SuperSonicTransit
Hold on to yr hats ladies and gentlemen - blast off is about to take place. SY dives into the mind...you can't do much while you listen to it except drink... Read more
Published on June 18 2000 by Nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Sonic Youth
To me this album represents one of Sonic Youth's finest moments. Sheer noise, lo-fi melody, absolutely inspired lyrical work. I saw them in 1987. Read more
Published on May 1 2000 by W. French
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