Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Who Can Save Popular Music? Sonic Youth Can.


Pop Music is dead as far as I'm concerned. Plastic peep show dance song divas can't revive it. Boy bands wearing committment rings can't. Glamazon singer-hyphen-actresses can't. And CEO gangsta rappers can only do so much. I think Sonic Youth, one of the pioneers of alternative rock music, can get the job done. Scratch that - I know they can. With their new album The Eternal, Sonic Youth proves that they have the humor, intelligence and tonal force needed to single-handedly raise Lazarus and make popular music interesting again. Need proof? Check out "Anti-Orgasm" a stingingly funny critique of sexually dysfunctional wingnuts, complete with a hook consisting of uh uh uh uh uh uh uh's. How about "Malibu Gas Station" with Kim Gordon calling out paparazzi-baiting-underwear-challenged celebreties ("Oops, no underwear!"). The Velvet Underground-flavored song "Antenna" is 6 minutes of pure bliss. The song "No Way" is a fabulous kiss-off. And then there's the glorious "Massage the History" with its creeping, cascading guitar chords and breathless vocals brilliantly showing amateurs and poseurs how to really bring sexy back. For those, like me, who are dresssed in their mourning black with the "walking blues," don't despair. Rejoice! Pop music's resurrection is in Sonic Youth's capable hands.

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