Rewind: Sonic Youth, Murray Street
Rewind takes a look at past Musicwhore.org reviews to see how they hold up today. The albums featured on Rewind were part of my collection, then sold for cash only to be reacquired later.
Back when I first reviewed Murray Street, I was familiar with only three Sonic Youth albums, two of which I owned. I eventually let the album go because it had been played to death during my shifts at Waterloo Records.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep producing reviews for this site, and like any imposition, I eventually started making filler. A few tell-tale signs indicate how I struggled to get through that review.
First, I defer to the opinions of other publications. When I do that, I know I don’t have a strong opinion of my own. Second, I openly confess to the limitations of my expertise on the band. Sometimes it works when I’m moved enough to write about a style of music with which I’m not familiar. In this instance, it was a cop-out.
Murray Street found its way back to my collection only after I had developed an appreciation for the early-Steve Shelley era. I actually prefer Sister and EVOL over Murray Street, but I do like it enough to own it on vinyl.
I stand by my description of the album in the review — it’s tuneful and somewhat restrained, compared to the distortion assault of Daydream Nation or the grime of Dirty.
Something not mentioned was the fact I passed over the two albums preceding Murray Street. Waterloo had a policy where you could listen to anything in the store, of which I took advantage in the days before Napster. I heard enough of A Thousand Leaves and NYC Ghosts and Flowers to know I would like neither of them.
That made Murray Street appealing by comparison.
Tags: rewind, sonic youth