Rather Ripped

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Rather Ripped
Studio album by Sonic Youth
Released June 13, 2006 (2006-06-13)
Recorded December 2005 – February 2006, Sear Sound, NYC
Genre Alternative rock, noise pop
Length 51:53
Label Geffen / Interscope
Producer Sonic Youth, John Agnello
Sonic Youth chronology
SYR6: Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminimui
(2005)
Rather Ripped
(2006)
The Destroyed Room: B-Sides and Rarities
(2006)
Singles from Rather Ripped
  1. "Rather Ripped Album Sampler"
    Released: 2006
  2. "Helen Lundeberg/Eyeliner"
    Released: 2006
  3. "Incinerate"
    Released: 2006

Rather Ripped is the 14th studio album by Sonic Youth, which was released on June 13, 2006. It was their first album without guitarist Jim O'Rourke since 2000's NYC Ghosts & Flowers. The album was described by Thurston Moore as "a super song record" containing "rockers and ballads".[citation needed] The name "Rather Ripped" comes from a Berkeley, CA record store that has since moved to Pittsburgh, PA.[1][2] Rather Ripped contained three singles, "Rather Ripped Album Sampler", "Helen Lundeberg/Eyeliner", and "Incinerate". The album's working titles were "Sonic Life" and "Do You Believe in Rapture?"[citation needed]

On the UK release of the album, two bonus tracks were included ("Helen Lundeberg" and "Eyeliner"), which were taken from an untitled single that was released shortly before the record. "Helen Lundeberg" is also available in the USA as a bonus track on the iTunes Music Store digital download edition of the album.

On the Japanese release of the album, three bonus tracks were included. In addition to the two UK bonus tracks ("Helen Lundeberg" and "Eyeliner"), the track "Do You Believe in Rapture? (psychedelic mix)" was also included.

Rather Ripped charted at number 64 on the UK Album Chart and at number 71 on the US Billboard Top 200. The album came 43rd in Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2006[3] and ranked third in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2006.[4]

Rather Ripped was Sonic Youth's last studio album on Geffen. They left the label in 2008,[5] and until their 2011 hiatus recorded thereafter on Matador Records.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (82/100) [6]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [7]
Blender 3/5 stars [8]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [9]
The Guardian 4/5 stars [10]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars [11]
Mark Prindle 8/10 stars [12]
Pitchfork Media (7.5/10) [1]
PopMatters (7/10) [13]
Robert Christgau A [14]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [15]
Slant 4.5/5 stars [16]
Tiny Mix Tapes 3/5 stars [17]

The album so far has a score of 82 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "universal acclaim";[6] the score is tied with the 2002 album Murray Street.[18] Stylus Magazine gave the album an A- and called it the band's " radio-rock record, and it's not a tribute, it's as close to the real thing as they've come since they actually had a chance at radio play back in the '90s."[19] The A.V. Club also gave it an A- and said it was " unmistakably a Sonic Youth album, right down to the snatches of amp-on-fire distortion, the tuneless speak-singing of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, and an emphasis on guitar texture that includes amplifying each strummed string."[20] Prefix Magazine gave the album a very favorable review and stated, "To call the album the band's most accessible to date is no slur. There's nothing wrong with accessible indie rock when it's this pristine and polished."[21] The New York Times also gave it a very favorable review and called it "a fully legitimate, clear and strong rock 'n' roll record in the band's own style. And it may really be the best one."[22] The Phoenix gave it three-and-a-half stars out of four and called it "[Sonic Youth's] most openly 'mature' disc, possibly their best since ’95’s Washing Machine, maybe even the almighty Daydream Nation."[23]

Neumu.net gave the album a score of eight stars out of ten and said it was "what you'd expect from a Sonic Youth that's getting back to the cool rock 'n' roll sound they trademarked years ago, completed by a tagline of frenzied feedback and chiming guitars."[24] Yahoo! Music UK also gave it eight stars and called it "a terrific, life-affirming and, at times, deeply romantic album - one that proves the potentials in both rock'n'roll and the electric guitar."[25] Playlouder gave it four stars out of five and called it "the most accomplished and mature album Sonic Youth have done in years."[26] Mojo also gave it four stars out of five and stated, "There's surely never been a Sonic Youth album so un-self-conscious."[6] Uncut likewise gave the album four stars out of five and said that "Several tracks are up with [the band's] best."[6] Alternative Press likewise gave it four stars and called it "the sound of a band no longer setting their distortion pedals on stun, and, as a result, the best songs are as low-key as a small town on Sunday morning."[6] Paste gave it a score of eight out of ten and called it "About as accessible and smooth as this band is going to get."[27] Now also gave the album four stars out of five and said that Sonic Youth "continue their slow but remarkable progression that currently finds them, for the most part, dropping old SY standbys such as long experimental noise passages in exchange for a significantly more sedated route."[28] Billboard likewise gave it a favorable review and called it "a concise serving of what the band does best."[29]

NME gave the album a score of seven out of ten and called it "a really good record--but not a patch on... Daydream Nation."[6] Under the Radar gave the album seven stars out of ten and stated, "Rarely have [Sonic Youth] laid down so many tunes that are this downright pretty, hummable, even."[6] Dusted Magazine gave the album a positive review and called it "a fitting overview of everything that’s always worked for Sonic Youth in the past."[30] E! Online gave it a B- and said that the album "feels more overly familiar and Velvet Underground-y than usual, which isn't a good thing for a band with such forward-thinking ideals."[6]

Other reviews were average or mixed: Q gave the album three stars out of five and called it the "most mature album to date."[31] Blender also gave it three stars out of five and called it "[the band's] songiest record in more than a decade."[6] Spin gave the album a score of four out of ten and called it "three- or four-minute songcraft--never the highlight of [the band's] resume."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Sonic Youth

No. Title Vocals Length
1. "Reena"   Gordon 3:47
2. "Incinerate"   Moore 4:55
3. "Do You Believe in Rapture?"   Moore 3:11
4. "Sleepin Around"   Moore 3:42
5. "What a Waste"   Gordon/Moore 3:33
6. "Jams Run Free"   lyrics Moore/vocals Gordon 3:52
7. "Rats"   Ranaldo 4:24
8. "Turquoise Boy"   lyrics Moore/vocals Gordon 6:14
9. "Lights Out"   Moore/Gordon 3:32
10. "The Neutral"   Gordon 4:09
11. "Pink Steam"   Moore 6:57
12. "Or"   Moore 3:31

Bonus tracks[edit]

No. Title Vocals Length
13. "Helen Lundeberg" (iTunes and European bonus track) Moore 4:39
14. "Eyeliner"   Moore 5:44
15. "Do You Believe in Rapture? (Psychedelic Mix)" (Japan bonus track) Moore 3:14

Album charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
2006 Canadian College Charts 1
2006 Tastemakers 3
2006 Official Norwegian Albums Chart 13
2006 Official Belgium Albums Chart 20
2006 Official French Albums Chart 25
2006 Official Australian Albums Chart 40
2006 Official Finland Albums Chart 40
2006 Official Sweden Albums Chart 46
2006 Official Swiss Albums Chart 59
2006 Official UK Albums Chart 64
2006 Billboard Top 200 71
2006 Official Irish Albums Chart 72
2006 Official German Albums Chart 79

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pitchfork Media review
  2. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rather Ripped Records Gets A New Life In Lawrenceville "On Saturday, Lawrenceville welcomes Rather Ripped, a new store that comes with an old story."
  3. ^ Top 50 albums of 2006 of Pitchfork Media. December 19, 2006. "On Murray Street and Sonic Nurse, Jim O'Rourke pulled Sonic Youth out of a late-90s rut, spurring noise-rock jams that looked backward, forward, and somewhere in between. But even the biggest fan of those albums probably wouldn't deny craving a sequel to pop records like Goo and Dirty, and on their first post-O'Rourke effort, Sonic Youth offer exactly that: Twelve shiny, beefed-up rockers that funnel noise into melody at a level not seen since The Year Punk Broke. The surprise isn't so much that the quartet made this move, but that they pulled it off so sharply. There's hardly a wrong turn here, just reams of revved-up rock with all the classic pieces-- Kim Gordon's voice, Thurston Moore's writing, Lee Ranaldo's poetry, Steve Shelley's energy-- locked together as tightly as a jigsaw puzzle." --Marc Masters
  4. ^ Top 50 albums of 2006 of Rolling Stone at the Wayback Machine (archived June 19, 2008). December 29, 2006. "Their mean age now up to forty-eight with thirtysomething troublemaker Jim O'Rourke gone, indie's gray eminences made a light, simple, terse, almost-pop album. Granted, the guitar hook on, for instance, 'Do You Believe in Rapture?' wouldn't sound so lovely if they and all their progeny hadn't long since adjusted our harmonic expectations. But who better to play to our expanded capacity for tuneful beauty? The vocal star of Rather Ripped is Kim Gordon, breathlessly girlish at fifty-three as she and her husband evoke visions of dalliance, displacement, recrimination and salvation that never become unequivocally literal."
  5. ^ Sonic Youth leave major label after nearly 20 years. "The New York noiseniks are indie once again after completing their contractual obligations with Geffen. And you can expect a 'new band-zone-vibe' for their next album."
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Critic reviews at Metacritic
  7. ^ Allmusic review
  8. ^ Blender review[dead link]
  9. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  10. ^ The Guardian review
  11. ^ Los Angeles Times review
  12. ^ Mark Prindle review
  13. ^ PopMatters review
  14. ^ Robert Christgau Consumer Guide
  15. ^ Rolling Stone review
  16. ^ Slant Magazine review
  17. ^ Tiny Mix Tapes review at the Wayback Machine (archived October 20, 2007)
  18. ^ Metacritic score for Murray Street
  19. ^ Stylus Magazine review
  20. ^ The A.V. Club review
  21. ^ Prefix Magazine review
  22. ^ The New York Times review
  23. ^ The Phoenix review
  24. ^ Neumu.net review
  25. ^ Yahoo! Music UK review at the Wayback Machine (archived June 25, 2006)
  26. ^ Playlouder review at the Wayback Machine (archived June 9, 2006)
  27. ^ Paste review
  28. ^ Now review
  29. ^ Billboard review at the Wayback Machine (archived June 16, 2006)
  30. ^ Dusted Magazine review
  31. ^ "Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped". Q: 118. July 2006. 

External links[edit]