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Paul Higgins
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Edited Aug 23, 2017, 13:15
Lee Is Free
Aug 23, 2017, 13:12
I''m guessing there's gotta be some Sonic Youth fans on this forum right???

Been loving the post SY solo albums by Thurston and Lee lately - so much so that it gave me the idea for this post...

Although Thurston's latest album "Rock N' Roll Consciousness" is probably the best of the lot and absolutely superb and is a great showcase for his band (especially James Sedwards) and "The Best Day" was a treat too I wanted to turn my attention to Lee here...

I'm sure SY fans were sad about the band coming to a grinding halt and perhaps even more so about Kim & Thurston's marriage break-up after sooo long together...

Divorce after so long married (and when kids are involved) is not something we should perhaps celebrate but in this instance perhaps we should as their relationship breakdown leading to Sonic Youth ending resulted in the band's answer to George Harrison being unleashed into the world able to at last get his songs out there after the one-song-an-album treatment he often had in the Youth.

Of course his solo career started way back when he was still in the band but this was mainly weird experimental stuff (no singing) - his real singer/songwriter solo career started with 2012's "Between The Times & The Tides" after the SY split.

A real over-looked gem of an album I feel and one that works it's magic over you easily after repeated plays. Rather than take the manic "Hey Joni" SY-styled guitar route this album is lighter guitar pop heaven (obviously in a Ranaldo way) and even his guitar playing is relatively conventional. It's clear to see his mainly 60's influences all over it (Dylan, Mitchell, Velvets, Young, Beatles etc..) but perhaps more than anything these are real great straightforward songs showcasing his singing and songwriting in superb style.

For those craving a bit more of his guitar magic the long, stretched-out more jam-like songs on next-up album "Last Night On Earth" from 2013 should suffice. Technically not a solo album as credited to "Lee Ranaldo & The Dust" it's another great record but perhaps not quite as immediate as "Between..." There is a clear Neil Young & Crazy Horse influence on some tracks and overall I think the album is a winner (although "Between.." has the slight edge).

"Acoustic Dust" is maybe a hardcore-fans-only release or stop-gap and is basically a live acoustic record. Drawing on tracks from both previously mentioned albums it's basically Lee the folk singer but contains wonderful covers of The Monkees' "You Just May Be The One", Sandy Denny's delightful "Bushes & Briars" and best of all... Neil Young's "Revolution Blues."

So that brings us pretty much up to date! In only a few weeks though comes his third solo/singer/songwriter album proper release in "Electric Trim" which I for one am very, very excited about.

So far there has been three tracks from it that have appeared on YouTube.

The first has a very Beatlesy flavour to it...

Would love to see him play live in this country but no dates announced as yet only ones elsewhere. 2018 maybe???

And here is my home-made wrap-up of some of Lee's fine Sonic Youth moments collected available for you to download here....

There was a few more I wanted on it but I made this as a CD and with those it ran over the CD time length... sorry!

Saucer Like
In The Kingdom 19
Pipeline/Kill Time
Eric's Trip
What We Know
Wish Fulfillment
Hey Joni
Paper Cut Exit
Rain King
Skip Tracer
Walkin Blue
Lee Is Free
NYC Ghosts & Flowers

It makes for a nice Lee album in itself I'm sure you'll agree.

Lee is free!

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