Album Review: Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth

In the 1980s, music was quite commercialized and accessible in addition to being very synth heavy. However, a thriving underground scene would emerge in places like New York City, giving us the Sonic Youth band. Sonic Youth started out as a highly experimental “no wave” band but would soon transition into making more “normal” alternative music after releasing their first two albums. After two new albums, they’d reach perfection with their fifth album, Daydream Nation.

The album cover of Daydream Nation

Daydream Nation can be described as one of the premier alternative rock albums of its time. It’s very noisy, features decently long instrumental introductions, and has unorthodoxly tuned guitars. Daydream Nation is also on the longer side with a run time of around one hour and 10 minutes. The best song on the album is easily its opener, “Teen Age Riot”.

Like nearly all the songs on the album, “Teen Age Riot” starts off with a layback, minute-plus-long instrumental introduction. We then get a very fast, fun piece of music. Thurston Moore’s guitar part is very cool. While his vocals are somewhat deadpan and spoken, I feel like that really helps to make the song.

Daydream Nation has gone down in history as one of the best alternative rock albums of the 1980s as well as one of the best albums ever made. This album is easily a 10/10 with all of the songs being great, although the album isn’t for everyone. It’s 100% worth a listen though!

Album Review: Slowdive’s Self-Titled Album

Out of all the bands that came out of the UK’s shoegaze scene of the 1990s, Slowdive has to be my personal favorite. I decided to look at their self-titled album for this review. Released in 2017, Slowdive is on par with the famed Souvlaki with it having all the sounds a modern shoegaze album should have.

The album cover of Slowdive

Like Souvlaki, Slowdive is a shoegaze album. It features beautiful, ethereal vocals from Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell, two of the band’s founders. The guitars on the album have been heavily distorted and altered through the use of effect pedals. My favorite song from the album has to be “Sugar for the Pill”.

“Sugar for the Pill” starts out with a touching guitar part drenched with reverb. The bass line is very cool as well. While the vocals do show that Neil Halstead’s voice has aged since the 1990s, his voice is still able to touch the heart. It is less noisy than “Star Roving”, my second favorite song from Slowdive, yet that makes it more beautiful in my opinion.

Slowdive is a great album for those who want to get into shoegaze, especially modern shoegaze as its sounds are more updated than the ones in Slowdive’s works from the 1990s. I rate this album a 9/10. Please check it out when you get a chance. It’ll make your day

Album Review: Adore by The Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins can be described as one of my favorite bands with their first three albums not having a single bad song on them (in my opinion). Naturally, I decided to check out Adore and was surprised by its content and craft.

The album cover of Adore

In the 90s, were one of the world’s largest bands. Riding off of the success of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, they had achieved their high position. When they released Adore in 1998, listeners were divided. Many were expecting a rock-oriented album; instead, they got a variety of electronic, piano-driven, and acoustic songs, quite a shakeup from their previous album.

Even though I knew that Adore would be a different listen than their other albums, the Smashing Pumpkins 4th album still took me by surprise. The songs on the album were unlike anything we had seen from them, with the sole exception being “1979” off their previous album. The song “Perfect” really shows this change.

“Perfect” has a heavy focus on synths as opposed to guitar. Additionally, a drum machine is present in the song, a change that can be partially attributed to the group firing their drummer after the release of Mellon Collie. Either way, the changes are positive, culminating in a great synth-pop song.

While this is, in my opinion, my least favorite Smashing Pumpkins album from the 90s, it is still a good album in its own right. I give it an 8.25/10. Go give it a go; it’s worth a listen.