The New Yorker's debut solo set, 'From Here To Infinity', came out in 1987 – while his ninth, 2012's 'Between The Times And The Tides', won itself a heap of critical acclaim. The man, he's still got it.
And that much is more than clear on 'Last Night On Earth', a collection recorded with backing band The Dust (Steve Shelley, Alan Licht and Tim Luntzel). Taken as his 10th solo album, it's something of a marker for its maker – to have come this far, both with band and under his own steam, and never lose sight of inspiration within the accessibility of these Neil Young-y, folk-tinged but still fiery arrangements, is a tremendous achievement.
Ranaldo's reputation for undulating squalls of amplified sound, as a member of Sonic Youth, doesn't always carry over into his solo fare – and 'Last Night On Earth' is distinctly easy on the ear compared to some other notable works in this musician's catalogue. Which isn't to say it lacks spirit, that spark that's always characterised the best Sonic Youth fare. There's restlessness here, beside the familiar strums, a sense that Ranaldo, well into middle age, remains creatively ambitious.
But don't just take these words for it – stream 'Last Night On Earth' below. This is the only place you can hear the album (outside of the US, Australia and New Zealand) at the moment, so dig in and get a taste for what's coming out on October 7th via Matador Records.
1. 'Lecce, Leaving'
3. 'Home Chds'
4. 'The Rising Tide'
5. 'Last Night On Earth'
6. 'By The Window'
7. 'Late Descent #2'
9. 'Blackt Out'
'Last Night On Earth' is released on October 7th.
Find more information on Lee Ranaldo online.
Get the best of Clash on your iPhone – download the app here