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Tied to a Star *
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Rating
Album: Tied to a Star *
# Song Title   Time
1)    Me Again
2)    Every Morning
3)    Heal the Star
4)    Wide Awake
5)    Stumble
6)    And Then
7)    Drifter
8)    Trailing Off
9)    Come Down
10)    Better Plane
 

Album: Tied to a Star *
# Song Title   Time
1)    Me Again
2)    Every Morning
3)    Heal the Star
4)    Wide Awake
5)    Stumble
6)    And Then
7)    Drifter
8)    Trailing Off
9)    Come Down
10)    Better Plane
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixer: John Agnello.
  • J. Mascis' 2014's solo effort Tied to a Star follows the formula set down by 2011's Several Shades of Why, with acoustic guitars dominating the performances rather than his usually punishing electric attack, and the songs favoring gentler lyrical and melodic themes than is Mascis' stock in trade in Dinosaur Jr. But Several Shades of Why was a fine album and Tied to a Star is one of those rare examples of a sequel being every bit as satisfying as the original. If anything, Tied to a Star suggests Mascis has been working on his vocals over the previous three years, and if he hasn't entirely abandoned his trademark mumble just yet, there's a greater precision in his singing that fits the more nuanced tone of this music. Mascis mixes up electric and acoustic instruments on Tied to a Star, even as acoustics take the lead, and this album is an outstanding showcase for his picking -- Mascis' acoustic work is rich and imaginative, and with the volume turned back and some of the fuzz swept off his usually fuzzy tone, the electric accents are more versatile and restrained than Mascis' reputation would lead one to expect. A more than capable drummer as well as a guitarist, Mascis handled most of the instruments himself on Tied to a Star (with a bit of help on keyboards and guitar from Ken Maiuri and Pall Jenkins, and a vocal spot from Chan Marshall on "Wide Awake"), and the performances and production have a warm, intimate feel that fits the more compact scale of this music without diminishing its presence or power. And these songs show that while music is Mascis's strong suit, not lyrics, he sounds thoughtful and intelligent in a way much of his other work does not. J. Mascis is developing a distinct persona for his solo work, and so far it dovetails nicely with his other projects, sharing certain virtues while having a mind of its own, and Tied to a Star is another step in an unexpected and quite welcome career evolution. ~ Mark Deming
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[The songs] show that Mascis is now as skilled at quiet as he is with loud."

CMJ - "It is largely acoustic, punctuated by the occasional fit of electric guitar and, when the songs call for it, drums. This album expands upon Mascis' acoustic side to great effect."

Paste (magazine) - "On his second solo record, TIED TO A STAR, Mascis molds yet another subdued prism through which to glimpse his rare genius as a guitarist and songwriter."

Pitchfork (Website) - "It's a quiet, gorgeous collection of fragile indie folk tunes made all the more powerful by his wounded-old-man croak, his dexterous picking, and his overall sense of restraint."
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