Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Without a Sound
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: DINOSAUR JR. Title: WITHOUT A SOUND Street Release Date: 08/30/1994
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No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: DINOSAUR JR.
Title: WITHOUT A SOUND
Street Release Date: 08/30/1994
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Unfairly lambasted, pretty record
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Without a Sound is an album full of tender melodies, occasional fuzz, and atypical guitar restraint. At its release in 1994, critics took J Mascis to town, labeling him a self-parody and has-been. The accusations didn't make sense, for the most part. They pointed to a song like "Feel the Pain," with its lyric "I feel the pain of everyone, then I feel nothing" as megalomaniacal, or at least misguided. Why? Mascis never went on record as saying the song was autobiographical. If anything, coming on the heels of Kurt Cobain's suicide, it seemed perhaps about him. Perhaps not, but I pretty much just thought the song was catchy. Nothing wrong with that. Other standouts on the album include the circular, acoustic "Outta Hand," the squealing "Grab It," and the album's closer "Over Your Shoulder," an obvious and touching tribute to Mascis' dad, who had recently died. Critics complained the album had a phoned-in quality; is it even possible to half-assedly write a song to your dead father? Mascis' singing has improved greatly; it had never bothered this intrepid reviewer, anyway, but Mascis has smartly learned to put a female harmony behind his indisputably pretty, gentle melodies to great affect. Mascis also has a great sense of percussive flourish; he knows how to hit the drum harder after a line to put an exclamation point after an emotion. The album's only frustrating quality was that Mascis seems reluctant to let go of his signature rock guitar sound. The album appeared lost in a no-man's land between a power-pop gem like Matthew Sweet's "100% Fun" and Wilco's mostly acoustic, very organic, and slightly rural pop keeper "A.M." Strangely enough, the album almost seemed to have an Uncle Tupelo nod. "Feel the Pain" lifts the jerky riff from Tupelo's "Factory Belt" (on "No Depression"), and the album title is also taken from that song's line "don't want to go to the grave without a sound," which is definitely a line J Mascis can identify with. Mascis would do well to go all out attacking one style in the future instead of blending two like straight pop and country shuffle. One almost wishes Mascis would spring for an orchestra and write and record a pop classic. He already has mastered pop melodies and percussive dynamics. A big produced pop record would prove this. Perhaps now (1998) that he's given up Dinosaur he'll get more musically adventurous."
Mascis songbook in the dollar bin
Stargrazer | deep in the heart of Michigan | 11/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Too bad everyone is too cool to enjoy this album on its own merits. Basically a solo album, J Mascis plays nearly all the instruments on a sturdy and enjoyable batch of original tunes. The songs may have more of an amber glow to them than the SST albums (recently remastered and brought back into print by Merge), which tended to be more spat out and propulsive. But the songs, performances, and production here are consistently good. The amount of derision heaped on this album should have been saved for some other, truly deserving awful record.
Oh well, the hipsters' loss is your gain. I foresee the songs from this album being revisited and covered by other artists in the near future. They lend themselves well to a wide variety of styles.
Pick this one up from the dollar bin and enjoy!"
Flop? Yeah, right, I don't think so...
Andrew | the cornfield between Nebraska and Illinois | 12/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Where You Been and this one are the only Dino Jr albums I own and I like them both. However, since critics seem to get an abnormal pleasure chewing this one up, I decided I needed to defend it.
First of all, J. Mascis comes up with the most creative guitar riffs that I have ever heard. He uses a combination of quirky rhythms and finger blistering guitar solos to create some of the most original rock music ever recorded. His guitar style has gone so far as to even influence the guitar geniuses in Sonic Youth who admit that their song "Teen Age Riot" (off of Daydream Nation) would not have turned out the same way without their acquaintance of J. Mascis.
More importantly, the songs on this record tend to sound similar but if you've listened to the album enough, you can always tell what song you're listening to at any given point whether your ear is engaged in the slow trudgy riffing of "Get Out of This" or the the hazy melody of "Mind Glow." Mascis does a good job of mixing up the tempos of the songs and even throwing in some calmer acoustic songs like "Outta Hand" and "Seemed Like the Thing To Do." My personal favorites are "Even You" and the closer "Over Your Shoulder" which usually has me on the verge of tears every time I listen to it.
Where You Been might be a better album and its opener, "Out There" might be the best Dino song ever, but this record doesn't get the credit it deserves.PS. Despite what you might have heard, Mascis does not sacrifice any of his fretboard skills to concentrate on his vocals, seeing as the same Neil-Young-on-too-many-drugs-at-once guitar solos are still present on this record as well."