Wednesday, March 9, 2011

J Mascis - Several Shades of Why: A Bubble of Contentment

Being South African, you'll be forgiven for not knowing who J. Mascis is. But only by other South Africans, and only if you grew up in Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein.
OK, how about Dinosaur (Jr.)? Caught up now? Fantastic.
Having worked on various projects, including Dinosaur (Jr.), Velvet Monkeys and the Fog, this much-lauded, talented fellow has abandoned (temporarily) the band concept and stands on the verge of releasing a solo album, entitled Several Shades of Why. “Huzzah!” the townsfolk sing.
A gentle acoustic album of thoughtful lyrics and soothing melodies, J. Mascis plays host to various equally lauded talents, such as Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses and Suzanne Thorpe of Wounded Knees. Well, maybe 'solo' is a strong word considering the long line of fantastic collaborations on this deeply moving album.
Several Shades of why is melancholic and heartfelt, and something of a departure from Mascis' previous more, um, ear-bleeding offerings. It's the perfect album to wind down to after a long and hectic week. Listening to it, I can picture myself on the beach sipping something deceptively pink and soaking up the rays (melanoma be damned!). I can only wish everyone in the whole world can feel this happy at some point in their lives.
Oh wait! You can. Just rush out and buy Several Shades of Why! Or, more likely get it from iTunes.

The album is set for release on 15 May, but you can give it a streaing listen here:

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