Artist – J Mascis
Album – Tied To A Star (2014)
Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/2Ks9qv8BHziWoce4cWqUDz
J Mascis is probably best known for being the singer/guitarist for indie-rock band Dinosaur Jr. Over his career Mascis has played for and started numerous bands, as well as gigging and recording his own solo music, which tends to be more acoustic based. Currently Mascis has 3 solo albums out, the 2005 album ‘J + Friends Sing + Chant For Amma’, 2011 album ‘Several Shades of Why’ and the new album ‘Tied To A Star’.
Tied To A Star is a perfectly nice compilation of acoustic-folk style tracks. Musically this album doesn’t stray far from the previous, which may be fine as its J Mascis’ style, yet it doesn’t seem to stray far in progression either. Instrumentation is as standard in this style of music, including vocals, acoustic guitar, drums, bass and a few electric guitar leads parts, which all compliment each other well. Lyrics are interesting and span more than the usual topic of love, which most acoustic artists focus upon, but this would come from an artists which has been writing songs for decades. Vocals sound brilliant tonally and in terms of Mascis pushing his vocal range, there also include special moments in which his falsetto is used which melds well with the acoustic. Electric guitar comes in at times for solos or melodies, but non remain memorable, and the solos at times seem clunky and ineffective harmonically with the chords underneath.
I enjoyed this album, despite the few negatives i had to say against it. I personally prefer Mascis’ work in Dinosaur Jr, but for a solo career this isn’t in any way a car crash (like many artists side projects). This album was enjoyable from start to finish, but just nothing special.