January 17th, 2012 1:00am

Explosions Deep In Me

Lee Ranaldo “Off the Wall”

It’s sorta funny that the two guitarists in Sonic Youth spent years pushing at the limits of stylized noise in rock music, but both ended up embracing folk pop when left to their own devices. “Off the Wall,” the first track released from Lee Ranaldo’s first-ever solo songwriter album – something I have been waiting for since 1995 or so! – is gorgeous, jangly and unambiguously pop, and has a more striking resemblance to the music of, say, the Gin Blossoms, than pretty much anything in the Sonic Youth canon. Well, not quite: While the style and form of “Off the Wall” is more conventional than most SY music, Ranaldo’s guitar flourishes are very familiar, highlighting a tunefulness he’s been bringing to his main band’s music for three decades.

Pre-order it from Matador Records.

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