Several Shades of Why J Mascis

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  • 1Listen to Me03:10
  • 2Several Shades of Why04:55
  • 3Not Enough03:14
  • 4Very Nervous and Love04:48
  • 5Is It Done04:51
  • 6Make It Right03:47
  • 7Where Are You03:59
  • 8Too Deep02:31
  • 9Can I05:25
  • 10What Happened04:39
  • Total Runtime41:19

Info for Several Shades of Why

In den 25 Jahren, seit er Dinosaur Jr. gegründet hat, hat Mascis eine ganze Stange von Songs, Alben und Spielarten versammelt, die jeweils eine Ära definieren. Nicht viele können mit dem passionierten Skifahrer, Golfer, Skater, Musikproduzenten und Musiker mithalten. Das lakonische Getöse seiner Gitarre, Schlagzeug und Gesang waren der Motor einer ganzen Reihe von Bands von Deep Wound, Dinosaur Jr. über Gobblehoof und die Velvet Monkeys bis hin zu The Fog, Witch und Sweet Apple. Dazu taucht Mascis noch bei unzähligen Sessions als Gast auf. Und doch ist „Several Shades Of Why“ sein erstes Soloalbum und ist als solches ein Album von unvorstellbarer Schönheit dargeboten mit einer Gewandtheit, die man nicht unbedingt mit seiner Arbeit assoziiert. Aufgenommen in den Bisquiteen Studios in Amherst, Massachusetts, ist “Several Shades...” fast komplett akustisch und entstand mit Hilfe einiger Freunde. Mit dabei sind Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (long-time collusionist), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Paulo Zappoli (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees). Zusammen in ständig wechselnden Zusammensetzungen beschwören sie klassische Sounds, die vom britisch anmutenden Folk bis zu verwehtem Singer / Songwritertum der Westküste reicht. Doch jeder Track, wenn nicht gar jede Note, trägt die eindeutige Handschrift von Mascis, sowohl in der Form der Melodien als auch in der glorreichen Heiserkeit des Gesangs.

„Im akustischen Rahmen entpuppt sich der Kopf von Dinosaur Jr. als großartiger Singer / Songwriter.' (musikexpress)

„So lange wir diese nölende, heisere, undeutliche, larmoyante Stimme hören, muss uns ums gute alte Songschreiberhandwerk nicht bange sein.' (Rolling Stone)

„Mit dem aktuellen Album hat er endlich zu seinem akustischen lch gefunden. Leise Folksongs, mit wenigen zusätzlichen Instrumenten, die nur seine kratzige Stimme und die schönen Melodien herausstellen.' (Audio)

J Mascis
It’s all but inconceivable that J Mascis requires an introduction. In the quarter-century since he founded Dinosaur (Jr.), Mascis has created some of the era’s signature songs, albums and styles. As a skier, golfer, songwriter, skateboarder, record producer, and musician, J has few peers. The laconically-based roar of his guitar, drums and vocals have driven a long string of bands – Deep Wound, Dinosaur Jr., Gobblehoof, Velvet Monkeys, the Fog, Witch, Sweet Apple – and he has guested on innumerable sessions.But Several Shades of Why is J’s first solo studio record, and it is an album of incredible beauty, performed with a delicacy not always associated with his work.

Recorded at Amherst Massachusetts’ Bisquiteen Studios, Several Shades is nearly all acoustic and was created with the help of a few friends. Notable amongst them are Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (long-time collusionist), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees). Together in small mutable groupings, they conjure up classic sounds ranging from English-tinged folk to drifty, West Coast-style singer/songwriterism. But every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark, both in the shape of the tunes and the glorious rasp of the vocals.

“Megan from Sub Pop has wanted me to do this record for a long time,” J says. “She was very into it when I was playing solo a lot in the early 2000s, around the time of the Fog album [2002's Free So Free]. She always wanted to know when I’d do a solo record. [Several Shades of Why] came out of that. There are a couple of songs that are older, but the rest is new this year. And it’s basically all acoustic. There’s some fuzz, but it’s acoustic through fuzz. There’re no drums on it, either. Just one tambourine song, that’s it. It was a specific decision to not have drums. Usually I like to have them, but going drum-less pushes everything in a new direction, and makes it easier to keep things sounding different.”

There is little evidence of stress on Several Shades of Why. The title track is a duet with Sophie Trudeau’s violin recalling Nick Drake’s work at its most elegant. ‘Not Enough’ feels like a lost hippie-harmony classic from David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name. ‘Is It Done’ rolls like one of the Grisman/Garcia tunes on American Beauty. ‘Very Nervous and Love’ has the same rich vibe as the amazing rural side of Terry Reid’s The River. And on and on it goes. Ten brilliant tunes that quietly grow and expand until they fill your brain with the purest pleasure. What a goddamn great album. (by Byron Coley)

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