“Let’s get something straight. There is no album in the entire corpus of indie rock—not Loveless, not Surfer Rosa, not Psychocandy—that reaches the heights of invention, joy, and magic of Sonic Youth’s sublime fifth album…. The haunted reveries of Sister remain with you for years, even if you only hear them once” — Stereogum.
1987’s Sister was another notch in the band’s move away from No Wave, yet still maintained their experimental approach. Gordon, Moore, Ranaldo and Shelley were coming into their own at this point, combining elements of noise, punk and pop. They had also become better songwriters since their previous album, providing better context for their noisier elements and incorporating the dissonance of their earlier releases into more traditional song structures. To quote Stereogum once again, “Sister is the sonic manifestation of refracted light. It’s a record that changes you.”