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Nyc Ghosts And Flowers

Sonic Youth Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 6.75 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

It's either a blessing or a shame that the risks Sonic Youth take don't really matter any more. No longer the groundbreakers or the train-spotters they've played in the past, they are now a band like any other. They play for the sheer joy of sound, the kinetics of experience. There's no other reason left to do it--which must be incredibly liberating, and more than a little sad. NYC Ghosts & Flowers is marked by the same yearning calm that defined its predecessor, A Thousand Leaves. The hooks are conspicuous in their absence, as if to say the battle may be over, and we're better off having lost. The notable exception to this brilliant game of implication is "Nevermind (What Was It Anyway?)", an obvious indictment of the decade-defining "alt-rock" phenomenon SY partially inspired. It's only fitting that this track sounds lost amid an album far too wrapped in its own interior explorations to bother stating the obvious. Sure, you could say that NYC Ghosts & Flowers is the group's best record since Daydream Nation--what's a new Sonic Youth album without such an assessment?--but to do so would deprive them of their greatest achievement. No longer fashionable or influential, Sonic Youth persist in the strength of their own passions. They matter to themselves. --Matt Hanks

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Audio CD
I've been a Sonic Youth fan since "Bad Moon Rising" and have loved or at least liked/respected all their releases up until this one. I was expecting good works from this band as their two previous albums: "Washing Machine" and "A Thousand Leaves" were so good, but NYC is a bummer. Sonic Youth have made a career of mixing chaos and structure in interesting and moving ways. But this time the band sounds simultaneously lazy, unconvincing, and pretentious. Its songwriting is boring and the improvised parts just drone on and on without going anywhere. Perhaps some people like endless random plinking and feedback jams, I do not. Besides the fact that the songs go nowhere, you've heard all this before. No new ground has been broken whatsoever. Aleotoric noise jams have been done a million times and better by this band and others, avant garde its not. NYC is a poor effort.
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Format:Audio CD
I've been a Sonic Youth fan since "Bad Moon Rising" and have loved or at least liked/respected all their releases up until this one. I was expecting good works from this band as their two previous albums: "Washing Machine" and "A Thousand Leaves" were so good, but NYC is a bummer. Sonic Youth have made a career of mixing chaos and structure in interesting and moving ways. But this time the band sounds simultaneously lazy, unconvincing, and pretentious. Its songwriting is just boring and the improvised parts just drone on and on without going anywhere. Perhaps some people like endless random plinking and feedback jams, I do not. The songs go nowhere. NYC is a poor effort.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Their most consistently satisfying recording June 23 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I have been following Sonic Youth's since Bad Moon Rising of the mid 80's. In my opinion, all of their albums, (with the exception of the exceptional "Sister") are spotty affairs. Their work ranges between either the occasional overblown post-punk art-rock shronk of their early work and recent SYR EP's, to the safe pop stylizing of the vastly overrated "Day Dream Nation" (and some later works).
I find that this is their most consistently satisfying recording that runs a course of a remarkably original middle ground of pop and artiness that is poignant and compelling. It is once of my favourite albums of all times that draws a direct line between the two most radical musical achievements of the late 20th century: the late 60's psychedelic period and the post-punk punk of 80's.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beat Poetry Enters the 21st Century May 6 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
What a strange and beautiful album! I am not an SY fan, I actually bought this on a whim because I dug the cover art by William S. Burroughs (who died shortly before this album came out). SY has always been an elusive band that has received critical acclaim from critics (Rolling Stone) and musicians (Nirvana, Pavement) alike, but has avoided excessive radio play (at least in SoCal) and MTV. How surprised I was to find they'd been around 20 years when this album was released!
The criticisms of this album is that it is too artsy and pretentious. Well, this is NOT a pop album and look elsewhere if you're expecting something like Blink or Britney (or even Foo Fighters) I enjoyed the music here because it strives to be different from Top 40 or even so-called alternative radio.
As the title reveals, this album pays homage to the musical and artistic legends that have originated in or been influenced by NYC and its culture. In addition to Burroughs, there are lyrical and stylistic references to Jack Kerouac, Lenny Bruce, D.A. Levy, Sun Ra, the NY Art Quartet, the Velvet Underground, and possibly others.
There has also been discussion about 9/11 references. The music was recorded over a year before that tragic event but it is frightening how the noises produced on the apocalyptic title track sound like a jet plane moving closer and closer to the listener...
In fact, the reviews for Murray St. say one of the plane engines crashed into the group's recording studio that fateful day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars mournful and misunderstood May 1 2004
Format:Audio CD
After Sonic Youth accomplished everything they could accomplish, they made A Thousand Leaves and souned miles off their game - or, four musicians phoning in their parts from different planets. The game on this one is more daring and more upsetting - I think it's a concept album of regret, one that says after it's all over, you could possibly spend the rest of yoru life wondering what if. Possibilities of defiance and desire are long gone. That's a profound take for a profound band that shot for a mood and stayed there. I think a lot of people felt frustrated by the record, but it's all part of its brilliant design - it's a dark catharsis of a record.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Perfection Nov. 22 2002
Format:Audio CD
Well, I read the various other reviews of this album and felt I had to add to the list. I've followed SY since Bad Moon Rising, they have provided the soundtrack for much of my adult life... and I couldn't disagree more with the general sense of dislike expressed regarding this album. Maybe I have grown up along with the band, maybe it's my continued Downtown NYC leanings, but this is the one I have always been waiting for. Tension between rock song form and noise? I find that sort of obvious at this point. There are many different forms that might be employed to make "songs." Here we find the ol' SY gang letting loose like they haven't since Confusion is Sex. Not as noisy perhaps, but just as dense, just as unexpected and, in the end, creating a soundscape that I find both astounding and magnificent. "NYC Ghosts and Flowers"? How could this not become an emblematic album post 9-11? (Yeah, I know it came out before... so?) A sonic landscape of streets. layered histories, strivings and failings, an elegy, a tribute, a document.
"NYC" is and has been on constant rotation in my musical realm since its release. L's list says "boring"? Sorry, man. You need to learn some more patience. I never fully embraced the 90's grunge rock SY stuff. Just not what i come to them for. I want density... chiming, stunning discord, small aural openings that expand around me and envelope me- (and the eschewing of verse/chorus structure and spoken additions make perfect sense to me.)
SY has always dodged in and out of rock-dom and with the addition of the SYR recordings and their various more "experimental "projects they have clearly signalled that their allegiance lies more firmly on the avant side. Best album since "Daydream Nation"? Nah.... best album.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars i don't understand...
do sonic youth fans actually listen to sonic youth?
--it's beautiful...
that's right, "the mascara snake", beautiful.
Published on Oct. 20 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fountain Of Sonic Youth
...
This album, like all of the Youth's recent output, brings up a question: has the rest of the rockworld, or at least sections of it, caught up with what they've been doing... Read more
Published on April 6 2002 by Edward Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars Burroughs lives on through Sonic Youth
Probably their most innovative and eclectic release yet, NYC Ghosts & Flowers is a triumph in stream of conciousness poetry and musical form, as well as tribute to the gods of... Read more
Published on Dec 12 2001 by S. R Robertson
5.0 out of 5 stars "will we meet? to run again? thru nyc ghosts and flowers"...
I was blown away by the greatness of NYC Ghosts and Flowers! Granted, I have yet to meet a Sonic Youth record that I don't like, but nevertheless I had heard some negative feedback... Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2001 by "carolyn5000"
4.0 out of 5 stars still they rock
I have never been able to figure out, since Sonic Youth's mid-90's pop forays, if they hit a wall following the breakthrough "Dirty", or if they are intentionally... Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2001 by Brad Ellsworth
1.0 out of 5 stars This album sucks!!!
Don't get me wrong, I love Sonic Youth. I used to have dreams about meeting them and telling them how awesome they are. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2001 by Karen Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars sonic bliss
With A Thousand Leaves and NYC Ghosts and Flowers, Sonic Youth have embarked upon an evolution of themselves... finding genius in being calm yet not giving up their teeth. Read more
Published on July 11 2001 by "anaamani"
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