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listen  1. Frozen Gtr 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Shape Is In A Trance 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Honest James 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Silver>Blue 5:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Fri/End 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. American Coffin 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Wonderful Witches + Language Meanies [Explicit] 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Off Work 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Never Day 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Free Noise Among Friends0:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Trees Outside The Academy 6:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Thurston @ 13 [Explicit] 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Ecstatic Peace
  • ASIN: B000UZ4FMY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,721 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2007 album from the Sonic Youth mainman. It's Thurston's first solo outing since 1995's Psychic Hearts. Of course, Thurston's been releasing records here, there and everywhere mostly in the context of rowdy and rambunctious noise/improv escapades but this new one is killer diller songs! Unlike Psychic Hearts' skeletal trio rock, this new jammer, 12 years post, has a far fuller bouquet of sonic depth and proves this Sonic dude to have a very real songwriting life outside of the legendary Sonic Youth. This newborn disc is 12 songs long. Thurston recorded primarily on acoustic guitar and bass, laying down the core of the tunes with drummer compatriot Sonic Youth's Steve Shelly and violinist Samara Lubelski, a noted player from MV/EE and The Golden Road, Hall of Fame and other awesome gatherings as well as solo artiste.

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For the most part, Thurston Moore's first solo endeavor since 1995's Psychic Hearts will allow the noise police to stay away. The Sonic Youth ringleader goes at it acoustically, far from his customary cacophonic experimentation, forming a venturesome trio with the Fleeting Skies' Samara Lubelski (violin) and SY's Steve Shelly (drums) and giving his lyrical verve the latitude it deserves. There's a euphonious, near pop-like palpability to tracks like "Frozen Guitar," "Fri/end," and "Honest James," the latter spurred on by the vocals of Christina Carter (The Charalambides) and a guitar intro pawned from the Byrds' "Feel a Whole Lot Better." The isolation of the quieter songs allows Moore's voice to flicker on lines such as "The pearl meets light/And the light gets lost" in the numbing "Silver Blue," or in "The Shape Is in a Trance," where he reveals "I'm not the one they called/But I showed up anyway." So did Dinosaur Jr's J. Mascis, whose notorious guitar heightens the volume on matching instrumentals: the daunting "American Coffin" and the six-minute title song, which ends bluntly before a final hidden track featuring a 13-year-old Moore making inordinate sounds with scissors, coins, and an aerosol can. --Scott Holter

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
54%
4 star
31%
3 star
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See all 13 customer reviews
The songwriting is dynamic and beautiful.
Kevin McCarthy
The end result of the album is thrilling--even if one were to ignore Moore's long resume, this would still be one of the best of the year.
Scott Bresinger
Anyone who considers themselves a Sonic Youth fan will simply have to invest in this superb collection of riffs, vibes and harmonies.
Piers Moktan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Scott Bresinger on September 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
("Trees Outside the Academy" by Thurston Moore)

Although Sonic Youth's eternally mopheaded guitar hero has been involved in numerous solo and collaborative projects since his last "major" solo effort, 1995's Psychic Hearts, much of that output hasn't been easy to come by, and usually involving torrents of free guitar noise. This is what some casual listeners would expect, but even many fans would be surprised by Thurston's latest effort, "Trees Outside the Academy," which is anchored by torrents of tightly composed acoustic guitar playing, often resulting in some of the most lovely songs he's ever composed.

Working from longtime friend J. Mascis' (of Dinosaur Jr.) home studio, and featuring a small group of collaborators including Mascis, SY's Steve Shelley on drums and violinist/solo artist Samara Lubelski, this certainly isn't the Thurston solo effort fans would hope for, but it's the one we get, and we should love it as such. "Psychic Hearts" was a spotty effort, featuring one of Thurston's best ever songs (the title track), and a lot of half baked efforts that grew out of the kind of songs the mothership band were doing at the time. The new album, therefore, will appeal to fans of recent SY albums such as Rather Ripped: that is, song-based rather than jammy, with strong melodies. Here Thurston is mainly playing acoustic guitar, but the songwriting is still clearly his, right down to the time changes. On a number of songs, J. Mascis does step in with his usual fiery electric guitar playing, so noise hasn't been abandoned altogether.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Glenn L. Hornbeek on September 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Alright, all you people trying to knock Thurston Moore..He is probably twice your age. Musically he has done more than any of all of us sad bastards writing these reviews. I love the acoustic sounds. I love the throwback sounds. Good job. "Oh Is too acoustic" or "oh Im not used to this"--shave your hipster moustache and rock. All I know is that when I played this and made dinner -- dinner was fantastic!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The pitfalls of a solo effort that branches out from a well-known band are, I think, these: that the solo artist will sound too much like the band from which he comes, as if to prove that he is the band's defining artistic presence; or that the solo artist will sound too little like the band, raising the question of what the solo artist contributes to the band. Thurston Moore's Trees Outside the Academy steers clear of both: especially on the faster-tempo songs featuring the drumming of Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelby, the songs echo just enough of SY's controlled chaos without sounding as though they'd truly fit on a Sonic Youth album. Other slower-tempo songs, including arrangements with violin, would fit even less on a SY record, but establish Moore as a distinctive songwriting talent (if anyone had any doubts) -- these are songs that catch you early with strong hooks and melodies but continue to reward repeated listens. Despite a couple of noisy outliers, this is a fantastic group of songs, one that confirms Thurston Moore as a musical artist of the first rank. Just two:

"Frozen GTR" -- begins with a burst of violin whale song, affirming that Moore will be walking back and forth over the line between noise and music -- a line few dare.

"The Shape Is In a Trance" -- a brilliant arrangement of violin and acoustic guitar.

Fantastic songs.
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Format: Audio CD
Like Einstürzende Neubauten, Thurston Moore and Sonic Youth have been knocking around for what seems like aeons, and like Einstürzende Neubauten, he (and they) show no signs of going stale. The twenty-first century has even seen Sonic Youth acquire a new pedigree (`Sonic Nurse' and `Rather Ripped' were both superb albums). Similarly, Thurston's `Trees Outside The Academy' has made quite a few people's best-of-year lists, and deservedly so. Solo it may be, but indulgent it is not - this is a suite of sung songs, with the guitars generally veering away from overly-electrified angles, and back-up provided by Samara Lubelski's violin, Steve Shelley's drums, and even Christina Carter's amazing free-form vocals.

The cuts here evince that same self-assured charm that Sonic Youth demonstrated on 1988's unrepeatable marvel `Daydream Nation'- every track unfolds naturally, with guitars, vocals, drums, and violin all in perfect synchrony. The full-on maelstrom often characteristic of that classic work may be missing, but it nonetheless feels so right, and this being Thurston Moore, experimental distortion is not entirely absent, just kept in its place, subordinate to a (slightly) more relaxed ethos. Anyone who considers themselves a Sonic Youth fan will simply have to invest in this superb collection of riffs, vibes and harmonies.
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By Stargrazer on October 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is the album everyone knew Thurston had in him ever since the teaser of a Sonic Youth acoustic track "Winner's Blues." Moore's mind moves quickly. What is surprising about "Trees..." is that this artist who usually tosses out musical ideas left and right -- many of which exist on record in some sort of under- or overdeveloped state -- has slowed himself down and really crafted an album of songs.

"Trees Outside The Academy" is a grower. Songs that may not leap out at you at first will delight you on subsequent listens. Many have the propulsive chug and pop hooks we saw unsheathed on SY's "Rather Ripped." Others positively scintillate in their novel acoustic-guitar-and-strings mantles.

By not following "Psychic Hearts" up with anything resembling a sequel, Moore has managed to highlight both his new recording and refresh interest in his 1995 solo debut.
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