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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 5 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • ASIN: B000003TAH
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,021 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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

Product Description

The third studio album by Sonic Youth, originally released in May 1986 on SST Records, shows the first signs that the band was ready to transform their no wave past into a greater alternative rock sensibility. EVOL ... mark[s] the true departure point of Sonic Youth s musical evolution, says Pitchfork, who place the album in the #31 slot of their Top 100 Albums of The 1980s. In measured increments, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo ... bring form to the formless, tune to the tuneless, and with the help of Steve Shelley s drums..., [impose] melody and composition on their trademark dissonance. Stereogum likewise praises the album as one that is full of suspense..., the cornerstone [of] the Sonic Youth sound..., ground zero for the combination of chiming guitars and atonal skronk... [and] muggy delirium.... The virile Tom Violence sounds less written than coaxed from a cauldron, the sort of song that fogs windows. The off-kilter [droning love song] Starpower ... is sung [by Kim Gordon] in a frosty [Nico-evoking] monotone. In The Kingdom #19, featuring Mike Watt on bass and ... vocals [by Ranaldo]..., is a harrowing story of a highway wreck over a suitably edgy instrumental backing punctuated by ... live firecrackers into the vocal booth. EVOL slithers into the unconscious, notes Popstache. Once the [detuned melodies and haunting riffs and] final whispers of feedback [of Expressway to Yr. Skull ] depart from the speakers..., the music [leaves] a faded footprint, forever reeling the listener back for another strange trip. Vinyl includes free download card

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

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

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") 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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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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By Xis10shell on Nov. 1 2001
Format: Audio CD
(...)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 York zeitgeist of the time. Paradox, interdependence of polar opposites, mystery, and infinity spill out of every crack in this music and saturate it on every level. Song lyrics on the surface appear to be throwaway doggerel but are revealed to repeated listening as being carefully written to express concepts that are very tough to convey.
A musical and chronological midpoint this is between the sprawling textural compositions of Glenn Branca and the concise rock of Goo. It sounded like nothing before or since and managed to make "guitar rock" exciting again. There is a question during the 4-minute ambient drone-fest which closes the epic Expressway To Your Skull (listed as Madonna Sean and Me on the jacket) as to whether the guitar tones are actually bending and shifting or my ears are bending around them. After alot of ghostly chiming feedback, the vinyl SST pressing featured a locking groove so that the song just droned on and on until the needle was lifted from the album.
In short, amazing album which drastically changed me.
As the heartbeat-like bass drum fades at the end of In The Kingdom#19, Thurston can be vaguely heard saying "Never gave a damn about the meter man, 'til I was the man who had to read the meter, man..." Eerie....
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Format: Audio CD
look @ the cover, no dots, 1 word EVOL. What might they stand for if it was like that? Emotional Violation, Outstanding Lyricism? I shouldn't be too irrelevant & must give respect to this most beautiful of records from those beautiful people of SY. Someone said this is a watered down version of CONFUSION IS SEX, because whilst there are actual pop songs like Starpower & Green Light which themselves grind away artily anyway, others are decidedly creepy like Marilyn Moore [probably because Lydia Lunch co-wrote it] & Secret Girl. Someone also said that Expressway is a good song for going to sleep to. the only thing is that w/ the upbeat bonus track you might not stay there. The Geffen reissue, which I think is the one they're selling here has notes by Lisa Crystal Carver who is responsible for some zines & stuff, her analyses & thoughts about the songs are totally right, so read them & I won't have to try something new there, I'm being lazy because I actually call myself a writer/reviewer. Love spelt backwards doesn't necessrily equal hate but a strange intense feeling, very defiant, which is also on songs like Protect Me You on CIS & Shadow of a Doubt here. If you're half contemplating buying this, I suggest go ahead, it's extremely unlikely that you'll be too disappointed. Of course after this they got even better w/ Sister, so if you've got enough money get that too.
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