J Mascis: Tied to a Star
On Tied to a Star, alt-rock guitar god J Mascis’ latest solo endeavor, he once again favors soothing acoustic-guitar strumming over the electric, ear-bleeding, loud thrash and wail sounds characteristic of his primary band Dinosaur Jr. Though “Every Morning” sounds like a Dino Jr. demo, it’s all J here. There’s an earnestness and heart-on-his-sleeve quality that fills the album. The delicate beauty of “Me Again” and “And Then,” the meditative “Wide Awake” and the bright pop residing within “Stumble” find their melodic strength through the simplicity of Mascis singing and playing his way through his cluttered mind. He even incorporates Indian influences on “Drifter” and “Heal The Star.” Guest appearances from Ken Maiuri (Young@Heart Chorus), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power) offer dashes of color to the material but never overwhelm what Mascis and his Martin create together.