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Boomkat Product Review:
I suppose people shouldn't be too surprised that J. Mascis's latest solo outing is a peaceful, near-acoustic affair. He did after all help out his chum Thurston Moore on the gorgeous 'Trees Outside the Academy' LP, and here we find the Dinosaur Jr. feller pushing the rock and roll out into the cold and embracing something truly beautiful. He's not alone either, Mascis has enlisted some enviable names; Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Vile, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) and Matt Valentine all pop up to lend their expertise. This level of skill transfers perfectly to the songs themselves and there is a quality that is impossible to replicate with studio trickery. The English folk-tinged title track is a clear standout - violin and guitar soar behind Mascis's well-worn rasping vocals and you wonder why he's never gone on this route before. His characteristic songwriting feels so appropriate in this context; the small, delicate melodies and riffs that we once heard shrouded in feedback, and blasted through knee-tremblingly huge Marshall stacks are now bare and subtle. 'Several Shades of Why' is a brave record, and a hugely enjoyable one - whatever the background of its brave creator.