Dinosaur Jr.
Farm


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
June 24th, 2009 | 237 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Farm is the album everybody expected Dinosaur Jr. to make. If anything, that just means it's good. Excellent, even.

Back when Beyond was released in 2007 it had been twenty-three years since Dinosaur Jr. had first formed. The album wasn't quite as good as some of their earlier recordings of course, but the remarkable thing about it was that it had the same youthful vibe that made You're Living All Over Me and Bug so entertaining to listen to in the first place. Hell, the fact that it was good is even noteworthy; how many reunion albums are actually worth listening to? As if that number isn't small enough, there are even fewer worthy follow up records to said reunion albums. Unsurprisingly, Farm is one of those albums.

The youthful sounding buzz that has carried Dinosaur Jr. thus far is out in full force once again. In a way, Farm is exactly the kind of album we should have expected from J Mascis and co, but that isn't to say that the record is predictable. Farm's penultimate track, "I Don't Wanna Go There" is anything but; a monster of a song, the eight and a half minute "I Don't Wanna Go There" is four minutes of mid-paced Dinosaur Jr. at their best, and a four minute instrumental lead by Mascis' strongest solo on Farm. It probably could have been shortened by a couple minutes and still capture the same themes, but even as Mascis noodles away, the song maintains a lightheartedness that prevents it from sounding too overindulgent.

In terms of unpredictability, "I Don't Wanna Go There" is alone, as far as Farm is concerned. The majority of Dinosaur Jr.'s ninth record is rather conventional for alternative rock; it's a lazy, noisy, hour long jaunt complete with mumbled vocals, a slightly fuzzy production, and infectious enthusiasm. "Pieces" sets the tone early with huge, anthemic riffs, and an eager pace. The song is primarily rhythm based and is amongst the more complete tracks on Farm, particularly when compared to a song like "Friends" which is based around Mascis' bluesy lead guitar tracks.

Similarly to Beyond, bassist Lou Barlow has two writing credits on Farm - "Your Weather" and "Imagination Blind" – and frankly both tracks are among Farm's best. "Your Weather" is full of melodic hooks, and sees Mascis abandoning the noisy riffage of "Pieces" or "I Want You to Know" in favour of jangling guitars, while Barlow and drummer Murph both play a more noticeable role in the track. "Imagine Blind" is rather bass heavy and ends up being the only track where Mascis' musicianship does not end up being the central focus. This contrasts nicely with the melodic rock of "Your Weather", as the song features a more laidback, stripped down Dinosaur Jr. that closes Farm on a highly memorable note.

With Farm, Dinosaur Jr. isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, but the album effectively demonstrates why the band is such a big deal in alternative rock. Simply put, Farm is built on catchy hooks, plenty of fuzz, and excellent song writing. In spite of Dinosaur Jr.'s reputation for writing 'slacker anthems', there is a healthy vigour powering tracks like "Over It" or "Pieces", and the second half of "I Don't Wanna Know" is completely nuts. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, and that may be true in Dinosaur Jr.'s case. But that doesn't mean they can't improve, and it certainly doesn't mean that they can't be versatile. Even though Farm may be the album we (should have) expected from Dinosaur Jr., it is still an excellent record that offers a variety of different qualities, while remaining as much fun to listen to as they have ever been.



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user ratings (458)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Alex Robertson STAFF (3)
ehyyyyyy did i let you gooooooo stay with meeeeeeee chugga chugga...

turnip90210 (4.5)
The world's greatest reunited band puts out another fantastic album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2009


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

While I enjoyed Beyond a lot this was disappointing

illmitch
June 24th 2009


5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really, really, really want this album.

So much that I might actually buy it.

gaslightanthem
June 24th 2009


5209 Comments


i rly rly love this band, haven't got around to listening to this yet but i shall

Altmer
June 24th 2009


5652 Comments


members also liked indie hipster music

freeliminator
June 24th 2009


78 Comments


some of the mellower songs are kinda boring but over it and imagination blind are @(4j25fkwjgfwgw

HenchmanOfSanta
June 24th 2009


1884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've never heard an album by this band but am considering getting this.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

gaslightanthem
June 24th 2009


5209 Comments


BUT THIS WOULDN'T BE THEIR BEST ALBUM

PuddleSwimmer
June 24th 2009


1457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

planning to get this today

NebSnurb
June 24th 2009


535 Comments


I listened to it three times yesterday, very good album.


Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2009


15743 Comments


you're living ALL over me*

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

McP3000
June 24th 2009


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

john i hate you

Mikesn
Emeritus
June 24th 2009


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

John Hanson you always do this!

Digging: Grimes - Visions

brainsheldis
June 24th 2009


320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is excellent and definitely exceeded my expectations. I'll be rocking out to this one in my car for awhile.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2009


2688 Comments


Great review, boss.

iarescientists
June 24th 2009


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i really dislike the album art and love it at the same time

dl'ing now

foreverendeared
June 24th 2009


14678 Comments


You're Living All Over Me ruled my life for a good month, but it's all i have from these guys. Guess i should get this.

thatguy84
June 24th 2009


214 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I want this quite badly.

Iai
Emeritus
June 24th 2009


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not on the level of Beyond but pretty good all the same.

NortherlyNanook
June 24th 2009


1285 Comments


i really dislike the album art and love it at the same time


there's nothing to dislike

gaslightanthem
June 24th 2009


5209 Comments


hav u eva been abducted by green giants no so how the fuck do u know



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