Epic jams and experimental grooves from one of the greatest bands ever. If all Sonic Youth albums pretty much sound alike, as skeptics grumble, some Sonic Youth albums definitely sound more alike than others. And Sonic Nurse is one of those.
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It's a question elicited by any great album, but one that accompanied Sonic Youth's return to It's a question elicited by any great album, but one that accompanied Sonic Youth's return to glory, Murray Street , in particular, and will likely arise in response to any remotely decent effort from the group herein. It might have dawned on some fans only after hearing Murray Street that Sonic Youth's mean age was then roughly 45, and that the group arguably hadn't produced a record of such caliber since they were in their late 20s. And while age is certainly unavoidable, as sensitive fifty-something poets constantly remind us, it shouldn't come as any great surprise that the band still pack some alternately-tuned potency in their aging physiognomies: There are manifold examples of musicians in most every genre, besides younglings rock and hip-hop, who have continued playing, if not composing, masterfully, well into their 70s. Like the best jazz musicians, Sonic Youth have turned their love for experimental rock into a habit; perhaps more so than any other band, they've transcended the temporality of quality output in rock music. While bands like the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead continue to take the stage in a larkish clamber, Sonic Youth are still alive in the studio, where the process of making music is somewhat more draining than regurgitating old hits every once in a well-publicized while. With centenarianism becoming more of an improbable reality and less of a tall tale, it's no longer inconceivable that rock composers might thrive into their latter days, especially now that the relatively young genre has been given time to produce a few elder masters.
The album's cover art was designed by artist Richard Prince from his Nurse Paintings series. Furthermore, one of Prince's photographic creations in this series was titled "Dude Ranch Nurse", which is also the name of a song on this record. Sonic Youth had used Gibson's work as an influence before, notably on a few tracks from Daydream Nation The album has a score of 77 out of from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews". Prefix Magazine gave it a favorable review and said, "With Sonic Nurse , it's truly possible to see 's excruciatingly indulgent NYC Ghosts and Flowers as a speed bump on an otherwise smooth decade of record-making. Their last, 's bittersweet Murray Street , was a return to form, and the epic Sonic Nurse will only supply more evidence for Sonic Youth's canonization". Music UK gave the album 8 stars out of 10 and said, "What emerges is Sonic Youth at complete ease with themselves and their music, operating simultaneously at the peak of their powers and with a powerful, audacious restraint".