Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth

1988 – Enigma

Experimental/ Rock/ Alternative/ Noise

daydream nation


American noise band Sonic Youth’s fifth studio album Daydream Nation is really just a masterpiece of modern music. From the opening wafts of guitar and Kim Gordon’s whispering ‘sweet desire’ in Teenage Riot right through to the sprawling opus of Trilogy there is just nothing on this record that isn’t amazing. There is an expansive scope of music on the record all of it performed with incredible skill and composed with an amazing musical sensibility, and even though so much of the music is based around white noise and chaos Daydream Nation is surprisingly catchy.

We start out with Teenage Riot a sort of demented pop song about youthful disillusion with a delicious guitar rhythm and wonderfully unemotional vocal delivery, and then, just as the listener is beginning to feel comfortable, we are thrown into the kicking punk of Silver Rocket which just as quickly fades through a scream of feedback into the somewhat sinister oppressiveness of The Sprawl. Right from the start Daydream Nation is a rollercoaster ride of experimental noise and deftly arranged rock and roll. There is just so much texture and intricacy in each of the tracks that it’s really something quite special.

It’s actually rather difficult to talk about this album. One reason is that it has been written about so many times before (and for good cause) and another is that there is just so much on it that I can’t seem to focus on one particular aspect at a time without doing an in-depth track by track analysis. I could talk about the frenetic madness of Cross The Breeze or the understate beauty of Candle or even the maniacally hedonistic abandon of Eric’s Trip at great length. I could write endlessly about the subtle and not so subtle shrieks of feedback and static throughout the record or the overheating amplifier and taped phone conversation majesty of Providence, but this review is not the place for that kind of thing, and so I must content myself with a mere cursory reading of this hugely important album.

What I will say here is that there is just so much depth and beauty in each and every one of the tracks on here and each of them works so beautifully as individual pieces of music and as part of the grand symphony that makes up Daydream Nation. There is just an amazing sense that this record is somehow meant to be listened to on a vastly different plane to that of most other albums, but that is not to say that it is in any way inaccessible or just a load of high-art nonsense. Quite the contrary in fact, this record is also incredibly earthy and raw, almost as if it could be coming from your next-door neighbour’s garage as their teenage kid practices the guitar.

There really is just something amazing and magical about Daydream Nation and I think it is definitely an album that anyone who has any kind of interest in music whatsoever really should own. It’s something that needs to be listened to an appreciated and if you have never heard it before then I beg you to rush right out to your local record store and demand a copy. It really is a masterpiece and that’s all that I can say about it.

RATING: *****/5

Here is the opening track from Sonic Youth’s incredible 1988 record ‘Daydream Nation’


4 thoughts on “Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth

  1. Pingback: Goo – Sonic Youth | Lachlan J. Faces The Music

  2. Pingback: Top Picks For July 2013 | Lachlan J. Faces The Music

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