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Tuesday, 05 April 2011 12:27

Charting the Music: J Mascis, 'Several Shades of Why'

Charting the Music: J Mascis, 'Several Shades of Why'
Written by Joshua Edwards

Several Shades of Why, the latest album from J Mascis, is quite captivating. When sitting down to give a listen it really pulled me in. While the music is minimalist in nature, it is more than enough to please the most discerning ears.

Layered acoustic guitars make up much of the sonic terrain. Adding further texture are intricate lead melodies from various instruments ranging from overdriven electric guitar to violin and beyond. The stripped-down variations in sound are going to stick with the listener; the dangerously catchy title track is enough to prove this.

Lyrically Several Shakes of Why is poignant from start to finish. The Dinosaur Jr. leader's voice is perfectly suited for the instrumentation accompanying it -- mellow with the occasional rasp of emotion. Most importantly just about anyone will relate to the words and the tunes. Several tracks contain interesting harmonies courtesy of various guest musicians featured on the album.

With St. Louis weather teasing us with warm spells I can see this album becoming a soundtrack for spring and summer driving -- with the volume up and the windows down.

Written by Joshua Edwards, Music Department

On the KDHX Charts: #3 on CMJ Top 30 for March 29, 2011.

This album can be heard on: The Record Sto', Gold Soundz, Slip of the Disc.

On the Air 88.1 KDHX Live

Recent Spins:

Arab Bounce by Jimmy Martin from Free Born Man (Decca) spun by Fred Gumaer at 1:02pm on Mid-Day Jamboree (Sat Feb 6th)

4 Wheel Drive by Buddy Emmons from Amazing Steel Guitar: The Buddy Emmons Collection (Razor & Tie) spun by Fred Gumaer at 1:00pm on Mid-Day Jamboree (Sat Feb 6th)

Midday Jamboree Theme Song by Bob Allen from Self (Self) spun by Fred Gumaer at 12:59pm on Mid-Day Jamboree (Sat Feb 6th)

Old Hen by Alan Bibey & Grasstowne from Grasstowne 4 (Mountain Fever Records) spun by Keith Dudding at 12:52pm on Down Yonder (Sat Feb 6th)