Something of a comedown album from the epic statement of Exile On Main Street, Goats Head Soup continues the murky, hazy energy of its predecessor. Recorded partially in Jamaica, songs either drift with a lazy melancholy or simmer with humid hedonistic energy. The album is short on hits (save heartbroken ballad "Angie") but has a thick vibe that carries both the sadness and the sleaze.
The first Sonic Youth album to appear after their mentees Nirvana made alternative rock a potentially profitable endeavor, 1992's Dirty found SY dialing back a bit on the relative polish of Daydream Nation and Goo and using grunge as their license to dig deeper into their love of expressive noise. But along with the gritty "Drunken Butterfly" and "Purr," they found room for the curious beauty of "Theresa's Sound World" and the political broadside of "Youth Against Fascism."