Dinosaur Jr.
Beyond


3.5
great

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
April 29th, 2007 | 161 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The full lineup of Dinosaur Jr. is back after a full childhood's hiatus with no signs of age or tiredness.

Dinosaur Jr.? More like Dinosaur Sr. Joe Mascis is 41 years old and Lou Barlow is 40. Ok, so they’re not the age of the Rolling Stones, but to make a comeback album together at this age, their first album together in 18 years, is simply monumental. Responsible for pioneering lo-fi indie rock and returning the role of lead guitar to these bands, Dinosaur Jr. may have returned simply to do what they already did all over again. After all, indie rock today is worlds away from where Dinosaur Jr. had their heyday. Today, indie rock sounds just as good as mainstream rock and hardly ever uses guitar solos or even distortion. With all the advanced recording equipment Dinosaur Jr. could surely get their hands on, Beyond should sound completely different from their albums in the 80s.

Almost Ready begs to differ. Immediately, an ambiguous, distorted lead guitar enters and the song crashes into a loud blend of distortion and nothing has changed. Remarkably, Dinosaur Jr. create a completely authentic 80s lo-fi sound. Mascis’ guitar soloing, melodic yet still virtuosic, stands out and creates more melody than his singing. The vocals create stark contrast to the guitar, oft cracking and struggling to cough the words out, let alone the melody. Almost Ready, the lead single, presents a thriving Dinosaur Jr. who seem just as young as they always were, no matter how grey their hair might be. The album progresses and the band never loses its loud, relentless intensity. Pick Me Up is almost an epic, over 6 minutes long. Instead of the sloppiness from Almost Ready, Pick Me Up presents a tighter, more cohesive sound. The song begins energetically and uptempo, but it enters a half time section in the middle that presents an entirely different side of the band. Drummer Emmett Murphy sets everything up with a simple groove, one of the only parts on the album where he really stands out. From there, Mascis takes a brilliant 3-minute guitar solo that climaxes with screaming high notes and the entire band slowing down to one final chord that tapers off into feedback.

Mascis is the primary songwriter on Beyond, writing all but two songs on Beyond. Barlow picks up the slack with his two compositions, Back to Your Heart and Lightning Bulb. Barlow’s compositions are more of a band effort where Mascis dominates his songs. It even shows in the production of the songs. For most of the album, Barlow is almost inaudible, but in his compositions, the bass almost overplays the guitar. Overall, Barlow’s compositions are simpler but more enjoyable because they present an entire band with catchy pop hooks and tuneful melodies. Mascis writes a few songs with more able and melodies and a clearer sound, such as We’re Not Alone. Instead of the same old distorted mess, Mascis plays clean guitar chords. When he solos, he leaves his guitar groove playing underneath him as he does on the entire album, but the clean guitar chords mixed with his distorted soloing makes everything easier to distinguish. We’re Not Alone finds the band playing much more emotionally than usual. It then segues into I Got Lost, an acoustic ballad laced with tribal percussion and synth cello. Mascis sings in a high falsetto voice in an attempt to create better melody, but it does not suit the song well. The band’s attempt at an acoustic ballad almost works, but it definitely does not stand out on the album for anything more than variety.

Beyond’s main flaws come in a lack of variety. Joe Mascis dominates the album with his guitar soloing, playing so loud that he sometimes even covers up the drums. Either he is singing or soloing; he hardly leaves time for any band instrumental statements. Luckily, his soloing is brilliant and even his weak vocals have a bright side. They are unique and never dominate the band, allowing the riffs to have a moment to shine. Overall, Beyond is remarkable considering the band members have not played together for 18 years. It takes the listener back to the 80s with an effortless style of production, and that alone makes the album nostalgically enjoyable.

Recommended Tracks:
Almost Ready
Pick Me Up
We’re Not Alone
Lightning Bulb



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Their 2007 release “Beyond” is an indication that Dinosaur Jr. is still very much alive and out ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
pulseczar
April 29th 2007


2385 Comments


Nice revu. i like this band's bass and guitar solo work.

JohnXDoesn't
April 29th 2007


1282 Comments


good review. i like this band a lot, with or without barlow. i'm very much looking forward to hearing this album.

Mikesn
Emeritus
April 29th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice. I like the two songs I've heard from this.
This. Gonna check this out soon.

Kyle
April 29th 2007


667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Was suprised at how good this is, probably their 3rd best album.

Slaapkamers
April 29th 2007


596 Comments


This is their best album.

The Jungler
April 29th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

While this is better than any of the non-Barlow stuff I've heard it doesn't really beat the first three albums.
Nice review.

MrKite
April 29th 2007


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been really into these guys. Hopefully since it's new, my cd store will have it.

JohnXDoesn't
April 30th 2007


1282 Comments


Green Mind is my fave DJ album. seems underrated by many. will give this a listen soon.

AlienEater
April 30th 2007


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I want to hear so much. I doubt it will be as awesome as You're Living and Bug but whatever, the songs I've heard were good

Apocalyptic Raids
April 30th 2007


810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Almost Ready is quite enjoyable. I should check this out.

RiJoPePa
May 2nd 2007


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually prefer this over their earlier albums since Mascis' voice is much more tolerable.

teamsleep698
May 3rd 2007


423 Comments


I really need to get into them, I might buy Green Mind or this cd next time I venture out to my cd store.

teamsleep698
May 3rd 2007


423 Comments


Great Review too

Spectrum
May 3rd 2007


347 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review; I'm really excited to hear this album now. If "Almost Ready" is any indication, I imagine that I'll enjoy the hell out of this - DJ really do sound as though they haven't aged much.

The Jungler
May 3rd 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=teamsleep698]I really need to get into them, I might buy Green Mind or this cd next time I venture out to my cd store.[/quote]Buy You're Living All Over Me'. It's widely considered their best, and it is in my opinion.This Message Edited On 05.05.07

Spectrum
May 3rd 2007


347 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I totally agree with Jungler here, just make sure that you get You're Living All Over Me.
Oh noes, grammar police!

joh soxe
May 5th 2007


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet review to what is a great album: totally exceeded my expectations. i agree with JXD, Green Mind is my personal favourite dino jr album, and whilst Beyond doesn't match up to that (to be fair, not much can) it is as good in my view as You're Living All Over Me and Bug. i don't mind as much if Biffy and the Pumpkins release disappointing albums now: this has guaranteed that 2007 has at least one awesome record.This Message Edited On 05.05.07

Apocalyptic Raids
May 7th 2007


810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I got the rest of it and it's quite enjoyable.

MrKite
May 15th 2007


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this. The only problem is some of the songs can drag on a bit (Pick Me Up anyone?). I won't be surprised if my rating goes up.This Message Edited On 05.15.07

AlienEater
May 16th 2007


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's their 3rd best album



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