Album Review: Lee Ranaldo

By Maya Kosoff

2 1/2 Nancies

Top Track: Fire Island (Phrases) Bottom Track: Hammer Blows

Sonic Youth’s guitarist Lee Ranaldo proves you can teach an old dog new tricks. Accompanied by fellow SonicYouth drummer Steve Shelley and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, among others, Ranaldo’s debut solo LP sounds like SonicYouth’s older brother who just got his first Fender Stratocaster.The album explores nostalgia and love lost, yet the lyrics border on mundane. In “Hammer Blows,” Ranaldo broods: “Hammer blows get heavy, and they’re often unseen / but this pain is bound to run its course.” Nonetheless, Ranaldo still manages to put on a show with his ample guitar skills.

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