This album has always been a great companion for "Daydream Nation," and the band had actually wanted the two records be released simultaneously. Someone close to the band wisely encouraged them to release "Ciccone Youth" a few months later so as not to detract attention from their masterpiece, "Daydream Nation."
But that doesn't mean "Ciccone Youth" isn't a masterpiece in its own right. It's simply a much more playful recording, being, in its own strange way, a tribute to Madonna (though only two Madonna songs are actually covered, one by Sonic Youth, and one by Mike Watt of the Minutemen, by himself). In one sense, especially in this rerelease version with the extra tracks, this album is more "traditional" Sonic Youth than "Daydream Nation" simply in the sense that it is far noisier. In another sense, however, it is unlike anything by them, as there is an emphasis in various songs on dance rhythms and sound manipulations.
If you're primarily a fan of earlier, darker Sonic Youth releases, don't be scared away by the term "dance rhythms." Just listen to a sample of the sludgy version of "Into the Groove(y)" to understand how Sonic Youth uses, and undermines, dance rhythms, on this record. On the occasions in the record when they employ such rhythms, they appear to be both mocking and embracing pop culture at the same time, something for which they are uniquely suited.
All in all, one hell of an album.