DINOSAUR JR: Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not: CD/LP

I don’t know what it is about Dinosaur Jr., but they always do me pretty well. I was into most of their albums from before their breakup and yet the newer material also strikes me well. That being said, much of it has begun to sound redundant. There’s not a lot of progression from album to album: J. Mascis’s slackerish, mopey vocals and shredding guitar solos, Murph’s strong and reliable drumming, and Lou Barlow’s bass somewhere in the background with his vocals occasionally popping up on a couple tracks. Yet the band continues to reach me in an emotional way, and that goes especially for Barlow on this album. His two contributions to Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, “Love Is…” and “Left/Right” are meaningful and touching. In fact, “Love Is…” is the strongest song on the album, with a solid guitar solo from J. This is what happens when DJ is hitting on all cylinders instead of leaving it as a project under the authority of Mascis. That’s not to say Barlow should be singing on every track, as there’s something reliable and comforting with Mascis’s vocals. For example, “Be a Part” gives me goosebumps when I hear the mournful guitar and the delicate organ meeting up with Mascis’s restrained voice. And as long as a band can resonate with me in an emotional manner, I’m gonna keep listening, regardless of any redundancy. –Kurt Morris (Jagjaguwar)