Listening: Beyond - Dinosaur Jr

Soaring, varied, I like it but there's a bit of a sense that nothing much has happened in the world of music in the last 15 years and you're not listening to a contemporary album. Does this matter when it's done so well? You could argue that this is like saying Mozart would be better with some drum loops - maybe it's just irrelevant and I should enjoy it for what it is.

My knowledge of Dinosaur Jr is a little superficial but I saw Mascis (solo) supporting Sonic Youth a couple of years ago and he mopped the floor with them.

Nice article in The Age yesterday if you'd like to be brought up to speed

Update: Ok so I've been giving this album a good third listen while installing Firewire cards in a bunch of our lab machines and I think the penny dropped or something clicked but this really is a great album. I was a little concerned that a few of the tracks sounded the same as a few others but when you dig down and find the differences (and the increasingly impressive guitar solo noodling), it just gets better and better.


Track by track:

Almost Ready (3.08) - Lively starter, wall of guitar, it's either as though we slipped back to the early 90s or Dinosaur Jr never went away

Crumble (4.04) - Reminds me of "Out There" from Where you been. A more low key song than the others and leaving a vague sense of beautiful sadness

Pick me up (6.32) - Returns to more conventional DJr ground but brings in some outthere whistly synth at points (I think) to keep the freshness up. Loving the guitar in this one, it's gold and has put the song up into my top 2 for this album.

Back to your heart (4.31) - The sound that a hundred mediocre commercial rock bands strive for and just fall short of - nothing wrong with it, just drags a little for my taste - although the solos lift it up a rung or two

This is all I came to do (5.21) - Lighter slightly poppier rock track, still great but perhaps a bit samey.

Been there all the time (3.40) - There's just something about J Mascis' voice that works, it seems like it was made to complement soaring, buzzing electric guitars

It's me (5.14) - Back to their old-skool electric sound - possibly a tiny bit buzzier than before - great solid DJr rock, best track so far on the album to my mind

We're not alone (4.35) - Another sad one, with a relative pop-rock jangle and another great soaring solo which puts this into my top 3 for the album

I got lost (4.37) - Shift to moody acoustic - what was I saying about Mascis' voice complementing electric guitars? I think I meant guitar in general (and evidently cello). Thinner sounding song but kept from starlet anorexia by a well balanced mix of sounds

Lightning bulb (3.45) - Moody, crashing rocker with a real sense of something looming over you and some eery/haunting guitar in the middle. I like it

What if I knew (4.01) - Ooh, moody - might have a new favourite track on this album, song of confused romantic angst and regret. Loving that guitar and the underlying riff.