Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Chelsea Light Moving

  • Chelsea Light Moving [Matador, 2013] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Chelsea Light Moving [Matador, 2013]
For better or worse, and it's both, this is kind of what you'd figure sort of: a Sonic Youth record dominated by that band's most important member. It's also a record that makes us love Steve Shelley, because John Mooney's drums never propel Thurston past virtual pogo territory--and that says nothing of what a nice change it used to be to have someone besides Thurston sing. Imagine that "Sleeping Where I Fall" addresses his former bassist-wife if you want, but believe that the whole album is conceived as a bohemian history lesson. Present and accounted for are a flower child who prefers her music free, a song by Darby Crash, a song about Darby Crash, a song to William S. Burroughs, a song linking Dylan to Frank O'Hara, and "Groovy & Linda," who FYI were real hippie speed freaks surnamed Hutchinson and Fitzpatrick who were murdered in a boiler room two blocks from my apartment in 1967. B+