With Sonic Youth seemingly finished after 30-plus years of releasing some of the best noise to come out of a speaker, guitarist Lee Ranaldo has not been content to sit around and reflect on things. Assembling a mighty fine group of musicians to aid him, including Nels Cline (Wilco), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Alan Licht, John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood) ,and old friends Bob Burt and Jim O’Rourke, Ranaldo has put together one of the best albums of 2012. Full of catchy rhythms and clever lyrics, Between The Times And The Tides has a classic feel to it without sounding old and outdated.
The album is a platform for Ranaldo to demonstrate his wide range of musical abilities. “Waiting On A Dream” kicks things off, driven by powerful guitars. A little bit of twang creeps onto the record with the tune “Stranded,” and Lee exposes his pop sensibilities on “Off The Wall.” This record contains 10 tracks of varied tunes all held together by Ranaldo’s lyrics and guitar work. It is not at all what you would expect, yet better than you could have imagined.
(Matador Records, 304 Hudson Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013)