In the 80’s and 90’s Dinosaur Jr. served as one ofÂ a fewÂ bands that spearheaded the sound of alternative rock music. Frontman J Mascis is a familiar sight with his long, straight hair draping down toward his Fender electric guitar, but for his latest solo offering, Several Shades of Why, heâ€™s stripped back his sound to the acoustic essentials. Much like Eddie Vedderâ€™s soundtrack for Into the Wild, Several Shades of Why reveals an even greater range for an artist who has already established himself as being massively talented.
The strings on â€œListen to Meâ€ are enough to announce that Mascis is taking a different direction, but his quiet, Neil Young-esque vocals are perfectly suited to this quiet undertaking. â€œNot Enoughâ€ is a folk-inspired sing-along with tambourine setting the beat. â€œIs It Doneâ€ has enough distortion to, at times, sound electric, and the finger picking is lovely. Shades of the West come through on â€œMake It Right,â€ reminiscent of sprawling landscapes and slow nights in quiet bars. With contributions from members of A Silver Mt. Zion, Broken Social Scene, Band of Horses and many more, Mascis has created a lush, beautiful landscape that he can be proud bears his name.