Lee Ranaldo review: Proof that there’s life after Youth

Sun, Sep 10, 2017, 14:30

   
 

Album:
Electric Trim

Artist:
Lee Ranaldo

Label:
MUTE

Genre:
Alternative

When will Lee Ranaldo get the glory he deserves? His textural guitar playing and songwriting contributions – typically a couple per album – helped make Sonic Youth one of the greatest alternative rock bands to walk the planet. Now, aged 61, he has dropped one of the best indie records of the year in a low-key manner.

On Electric Trim, Ranaldo tests the borders of his sonic palette, experimenting with north African grooves on Moroccan Mountains and teaming up with Sharon Van Etten on the electronic-infused folk of Last Looks. His boyish voice hasn’t changed, and it veers from a sardonic spoken word delivery to melodic croons on the dusty Wild West flavours of Uncle Skeleton.

Closing track New Thing, though, is the high point; its complex axe parts interlock beautifully to showcase that even without the Youth by his side, Ranaldo can still forge the most glorious soundscapes.

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