Lee Ranaldo has always shared similarities with George Harrison. Both guitarists contributed only a handful of songs per album and became the underdog favorite of a beloved band while people split their votes between the two more visible leads. Of the three Sonic Youth songwriters, Ranaldo was always the most indebted to classic rock, and his solo records thus far have looked backwards to his Beatles and Grateful Dead favorites.
Embracing the comfort of simplicity was a necessity in the fall of 2020. An unobtrusive sonata for acoustic guitar would have provided a welcome 22 minutes of headspace from pre-election anxiety and pandemic chaos. Unfortunately, Lee Ranaldo's composition has only just arrived. And I find myself wondering why the one-take noodle took over a year to release.