Sonic Youth - Hits Are For Squares (Starbucks Entertainment)

Wide-spread release for compilation album originally out in 2008

Released Nov 28th, 2011 / By Liv Willars
Sonic Youth - Hits Are For Squares (Starbucks Entertainment) Never ones to opt for the standard career moves, Sonic Youth's ultimate hits compilation has been modestly left in the hands of their fans. Fans who just happen to be renowned creatives in their own right, including Thom Yorke, The Flaming Lips, Beck and Gus Van Sant.

The release was originally a Starbucks exclusive from 2008, and was a limited edition run for Record Store Day LP in 2010, but is now widely available to the caffeine-free, CD-buying public.

Predictably, while there is a scattering of slightly more obscure choices, it seems the squares have prevailed; many of their back catalogue hits are present ('Bull In The Heather', '100%' and 'Kool Thing' clock in early on), spanning their discography and collectively acting as an aural family album, charting their many sounds and shapes from the past 30 years.

New track 'Slow Revolution', sat at the end of this trip through the archives, is Sonic Youth at their most mellow. A reminder of how, with so many albums under their guitar straps, the style they have created is so incredibly distinct, varied and well crafted, mimicked by many but rarely matched.

What is most interesting about this collection is the choices involved – you can picture Chloe Sevigny rocking out to 'The World Looks Red' or Beck nodding along to 'Sugar Kane'. It would have been interesting to have an accompanying blurb, explaining each person's choices and giving a little insight into their relationship with Sonic Youth's music, but maybe the physical format will come fully informed?

Other than that it simply serves as the ultimate greatest hits package, a promising collection of discovery when placed in the hands of a newcomer, though one that any seasoned Sonic Youth fan will already own.