But on this second installment of the group's New York City trilogy, O'Rourke hangs back, allowing the group's three longstanding songwriters to step up and survey familiar terrain -- the street where Sonic Youth has its practice space -- with their most direct numbers since they turned their backs on alternative rock. Lee Ranaldo courts mystery and chaos on the sweeping "Karen Revisited," Kim Gordon kicks against the pricks on the acidic "Plastic Sun," and Thurston Moore shines repeatedly as the group's humanitarian ambassador. Foremost is his gorgeous "Disconnection Notice," which brings the real news: Sonic Youth has had enough of romantic exile. Murray Street, after all, sits only three blocks from Ground Zero.
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