A decade after the release of their highly influential recording "Daydream Nation," Sonic Youth is still trying to capture that album's expansive juxtaposition of dissonant pop melodies and shimmering feedback dirges. Unfortunately, "A Thousand Leaves" finds them still chasing their '90s modus operandi: Recording a subpar album that contains only a few brilliant tracks.
The band's increasing use of bassist Kim Gordon on vocals doesn't help. Her deadpan delivery has never sounded so contrived and annoying -- like a whining goth kid that never grew up. In addition, many tracks are merely lengthy feedback collages with pasted-on vocals and gobs of art-school pretension.
But there are some hidden gems. The Velvet Underground-esque, feedback-drenched "Sunday" is among the band's best moments ever. "Wildflower Soul" also deserves a listen, but its nine-minute length could have used some editing. Sonic Youth can still generate exotic, detuned landscapes of sound. But they seem almost afraid to pursue new directions while flogging many old ideas to death.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.