Sonic Youth (as Ciccone Youth) – The Whitey Album

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Absolutely nothing to see here, and even a C+ is probably overrating it. If you’re really curious about this album, assuming you’ve exhausted Sonic Youth’s discography, listen to the following songs: “G-Force” (because hearing Kim Gordon say “Do you wanna fuck me?” is as sexy as you’re imagining it right now, even if she circumvents your answer immediately with “No! Bring me all your food!”); instrumental “Macbeth,” which has some surprisingly lovely textures for an obvious throwaway album; Mike Watt’s almost solo cover of “Burnin’ Up” has some good bass work and some really loveably dinky backing vocals and “Into the Groovey,” which is a laff because of the melodyless way Thurston sings one of Madonna’s greatest melodies. But the band throws in a sample of the original to save us every time it gets boring.

Elsewhere, we have a John Cage tribute that’s badly sequenced and knocks down what little momentum that the opening track worked so hard generating; a slightly varied instrumental version of “G-Force” right after it in “Platoon II”; Gordon and lighting manager Suzanne Sasic talking about Dinosaur Jr. over Neu on the aptly titled “Too Cool Rock Chicks Listening to Neu” right before J Mascis enters with his guitar and Kim Gordon karaoke-ing over Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love.” I guess songs like “Hi! Everybody,” “Making the Nature Scene” and “Tuff Titty Rap” (where Thurston raps…badly) suggest they might actually like hip-hop (though everything here’s so half-assed, it’s hard to tell what’s a parody and what’s a tribute), and that Chuck D’s appearance on Goo two years later was more than just a mainstream-crossover attempt.

C+

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