Goo [Deluxe Edition]

by: Sonic Youth

Any doubts as to the continuing relevance of Sonic Youth upon their jump to major-label status were quickly laid to rest by Goo, their follow-up to the monumental Daydream Nation. While paling in the shadow of its predecessor, the record is nevertheless a defiant call to arms against mainstream musical values; the Geffen logo adorning the disc is a moot point -- Goo is, if anything, a portrait of Sonic Youth at their most self-indulgently noisy and contentious, covering topics ranging from Karen Carpenter ("Tunic") to UFOs ("Disappearer") to dating Jesus' mom ("Mary-Christ"). Even Public Enemy's Chuck D joins the fracas on the single "Kool Thing," which teeters on the brink of a cultural breakthrough but falls just shy of the mark; the same could be said of Goo itself -- by no means a sellout, it nevertheless lacks the coherence and force of the group's finest work, and the opportunity to violently rattle the mainstream cage slips by. [The deluxe edition features remastered sound and lots of bonus material, including outtakes, B-sides, rehearsal recordings, and a bunch of eight-track demos produced by J Mascis and Don Fleming. The eight-track demos, in particular, are worthwhile. Previously available as the semi-bootleg Blow Job (available to fan club members -- or as a bootleg), these versions are very raw and heavy on noise, often concluding in chaotic feedback jams. Taken as a whole, they showcase the album in a different light, one that hardcore fans may prefer. Either way, they're a tremendous bonus and well worth hearing if you're a fan.] ~ Jason Ankeny

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