Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation (1988)
“I played Love Tara by Eric’s Trip* on the day that you were born.”
– The Tragically Hip, Put it Off
I quite enjoy putting this in my cassette player, it sounds like the future!
Along with the tape-opening sound effect, the rest of Daydream Nation** really did sound like the future; few would argue it did anything less than lay the groundwork for a lot of, well, the 90s.
And I love the 90s, so I should really love this, n’est-ce pas?
But I don’t.
And as a result, much like the hip lyric, I put this review off, desperately trying to figure out what I’m not getting before locking into a formal review.
Thanks to an equation proposed last week by The Album Cover Quizmaster/Bruce @ Vinyl Connection, I’m OK admitting I’m not a Daydream believer.
The equation Bruce proposed is this:
Appreciation = Understanding + Enjoyment
Normally when I don’t warm up to something, I’ll declare ignorance, I simply don’t get it.
The problem is, that’s not the case here, as I recognize/understand/unabashedly support the significance of this record. And so, it appears, I still liked it, I just don’t enjoy it as much as others do.
Which of course does not mean I don’t APPRECIATE the album as mathematically, my high score for understanding on the right side would still lead to a very respectable appreciation sum on the left.
A 2×2 Matrix to simplify, comparing Daydream Nation to other albums also selected for preservation by the National Recording Registry (listening enjoyment & significance understanding scores are mine & mine alone of course):
* Eric’s Trip is also the name of a Daydream Nation song. To complete the circle, Eric’s Trip (the band) was fronted by Julie Doiron who later appeared on a few hip/Gord Downie records, whose noisier collaborative moments (notably from Battle of the Nudes) could likely be traced back to Daydream Nation.
**There is also a film named Daydream Nation featuring a lead character named Thurston. Would you believe there’s a Sonic Youth band member that shares said name?