Lee Ranaldo - Between the Times and the Tides

  • By Jamie Wolfert @tonereport
  • December 19, 2013

Lee Ranaldo's Between The Times And The Tides is, not unexpectedly, a work of masterfully layered,  propulsive guitar rock paired with Ranaldo's melancholic songwriting and distinctive vocal delivery. His all-star band includes, among others, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, ex-SY guitarist and collaborator Jim O'Rourke, keyboardist John Medeski, and everybody's favorite maniac Nels Cline, whose greasy, garbled  Jazzmaster and pedal steel flourishes are used to great effect throughout. Between The Times And The Tides is downright poppy relative to much of Ranaldo's catalog, with a song like "Off The Wall" coming off like a lost R.E.M. track. This accessibility is balanced by more adventurous textures and drones reminiscent of vintage SY, particulary on "Shouts" and the standout track, "Xtina As I Knew Her". Nothing about this record is particularly surprising, given the pedigree of the artists involved, but nothing about it disappoints either. Between The Times And The Tides is an immensely satisfying album that will easily bear repeated listening, and is definitely a must-have for even the most casual Sonic Youth fan.

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