Album Review: Lee Ranaldo and the Dust – “Last Night on Earth”

Bagel, contributor

 On Lee Ranaldo’s second solo offering, he’s accompanied by a backing band. Unfortunately, it feels much like his unimpressive first offering, Between the Times and Tides. Ranaldo’s solo output thus far has lacked the emotional response I’m seeking, and the bold, innovative material that made Sonic Youth’s catalog so essential.

The music is just fine. It’s listenable, and everyone involved are competent musicians. He’s even got Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth on drums. But the cool hooks and clever lyrics littered throughout this recording don’t add up to the amazing album I know Ranaldo has in him.

“The Rising Tide” is a solid cut and a monster at over nine minutes. While a portion of that time is spent lost in a “spacey jam,” there’s enough meat for the song to make a strong impression.

It’s difficult hearing a mediocre album knowing an artist has an incredible back catalog and the potential for so much more. If Last Night On Earth were recorded by someone else, my expectations wouldn’t be so high.

Rating: 4 out of 12 cans of PBR!!!


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