Lee Ranaldo is Sonic Youth's George Harrison. Like the Quiet Beatle, guitarist Ranaldo's two or so songs per album often get lost among the more celebrated contributions by the two main songwriters. But while Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon may be better known as the driving forces behind Sonic Youth, Ranaldo is the more refined player, sneaking in some of the band's finest songs amid all the clatter. Ranaldo has been releasing solo albums since the '80s — experimental works with titles like Ambient Loop for Vancouver (just like Harrison's Wonderwall Music!). Between the Times and the Tides isn't quite Ranaldo's All Things Must Pass, but it is his first real song-oriented LP and his best solo record. Tracks like "Off the Wall" and "Fire Island (Phases)" balance solid indie-rock hooks and subtle guitar heroics that, naturally, gently weep. — Gallucci
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