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Several Shades of Why


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Audio CD, March 15, 2011
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Listen To Me 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Several Shades Of Why 4:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Not Enough 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Very Nervous And Love 4:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Is It Done 4:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Make It Right 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Where Are You 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Too Deep 2:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Can I 5:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. What Happened 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 15, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B004JAUCQE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,720 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Nearly all acoustic Several Shades of Why was created with the help of a few friends. Notable amongst them are Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (long-time collusionist), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees). Together in small mutable groupings, they conjure up classic sounds ranging from English-tinged folk to drifty, West Coast-style singer/songwriterism. But every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark, both in the shape of the tunes and the glorious rasp of the vocals. Ten brilliant tunes that quietly grow and expand until they fill your brain with the purest pleasure.

Customer Reviews

Great interplay, especially for this style of quiet tunes, it is fine music for the evening denouement.
Lars Kinchler
The whole album is definitely of a piece and is certainly best listened to in one sitting - it is a perfect listen for a very specific mood.
Guy Haynes
The beloved front man of Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis, has showed his fans once again that know one knows where the wind will blow with him.
R. Matute

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lars Kinchler on April 6, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Another 4 star effort by my favorite Neil disciple.

We all know that J is sensitive because of songs like Keeblin', I Got Lost, Sideways, Flying Cloud, etc. Until now, all of his releases have included one or two of these detailed pickin'/strummin' tunes. But this album is more or less an entire showcase of quiet gems.

The guitar work is no less impressive than on the shreddy/slabby/crunchy noise-infested and distorted D Jr. albums that we all love. It's just that this one is almost entirely acoustic. And the impeccably folky playing is paired with excellent harmonies, like the matched courses of a 12 string guitar. Great interplay, especially for this style of quiet tunes, it is fine music for the evening denouement.

It's like...the aural equivalent of an expertly-Shaded color pencil drawing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on March 23, 2011
Format: Vinyl
this album is really beautiful to listen to. the guitar work is softer but still has j's signiture sound which translates well with the acoustic. the lyrics are were this album really shines. while dinosaur albums always carry a well written ambigious narrative they tend to be over shadowed by j's ability to shred a nasty rift. the acoustic guitar's gentleness allows his lyrics to surface as the dominate sonic element. the album reveals a pretty human experience i think most people who like this genre of music can relate to and has some beautifully candid lines (i've been waiting for an answer but the question takes too long... ) i'm totally biased, i love everything this guy makes and could listen to him bang on guitar strings until i'm deaf, but i was cautious about the acoustic guitar /singer /song writer spiel. its really a great album with great album art and something i'll be listening to for a while.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sean Dressler on September 25, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
J had been doing the acoustic thing, like Martin and Me, which was Dino Jr songs done acoustic, which might be the way they were originally written, who knows, besides J, Lou and Murph. But this is a wonderful display of his acoustic writing, and may be a group of songs he was not interested in beefing up and turning into Dino Jr songs. He takes advantage of the strengths of this style and incorporates some tight and strong harmonies, violin playing that makes it float and some tasteful Mascis type leads throughout, all non intrusive to J's voice and acoustic guitar. The lyrics are very typical J, and sometimes get a little repetitive, but everything flows so well it makes it unnoticeable (except maybe to someone like me who has listened to J or Dino everyday for the past 20 years). I love this album, especially on dark purple and black splatter wax! Thanks J!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan K. Fry on March 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Getting a feel for Several Shades of Why May may reward the cursory listener with a feel similar to one that could be had by stringing together all of those quieter, campfire friendly numbers on Dinosaur Jr's slew of 90s releases - that trademark bracket of stoned surrender within which all of the songs here sit comfortably. The unsyncopated, over-the-top riffs characterizing virtually all of J's other work show up here in a much more subdued form if they show up at all. This time around J explores much softer and ultimately more melodic ground, and he has the company of about half a dozen others helping make it all happen. The pleasantly repetitious "Listen to Me" appeals as the perfect opening statement for a body of work rich in emotional highs and lows. "Not Enough" tromps along cheerfully augmented with Ben Bridwell, Kevin Drew, and Kurt Vile joining J Mascis in vocal duties creating a heartfelt quartet. Another highmark is hazily reached in "Make It Right", where Suzanne Thorpe's flute provides one of the most uplifting hooks of all. Indeed, the album seems to be J's most convincing stab at acoustic credibility so far and not since his previous solo release over ten years ago, the live Martin + Me, has it been executed with the same amount of convinction. If at any point you begin thinking that this just might be J's most intimate and melodically pleasing record yet, then the catchy melancholic closer "What Happened" should provide more than enough justification for starting the whole thing back over for the first of many times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Quaker on April 5, 2011
Format: Audio CD
4th solo album from the voice & guitar of Dinosaur Jr.--over the years as their frontman, Mascis'
voice has slowly evolved into a subtle instrument of great power, while his songwriting abilities
have matured into something masterful. (Just listen to the 2009 Dinosaur Jr. "Farm" album.)
Here, he uses both to great effect, proving that his blistering, top-notch guitar work isn't his only
talent. These mostly (He can't resist the occasional electric guitar flare-up.) acoustic, folk/rock/
Americana songs allow his unique, pleading, cracked vocal style to shine through more than
usual. This will do nicely until the next Dinosaur Jr. album rips into me. Guest artists include
Kurt Vile and members of Band Of Horses, Broken Social Scene, MV & EE, Mark Lanegan
Band, Valley Of the Giants....from Massachusetts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Montgomery on March 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Part of how you'll feel about Several Shades of Why depends on how you feel about J + Friends Sing + Chant for Amma. Several Shades of Why is a much more complex album than that was, but the low mood of Amma is the tone J is setting here. If you prefer your Dinosaur Jr to be more aggressive, this isn't your album. That said, I really adore Several Shades of Why. It's quieter tone doesn't change the essential ability of J to set an emotional mood through repetition and serious guitar work. I would still give More Light the top spot for a solo album, but I'd make a strong argument that Several Shades of Why beats Farm, a fine album in it's own right. Sample Listen To Me and What Happened (the albums bookends) to decide. Not a series of highs and lows and singles but an extended mood from beginning to end, Several Shades of Why is a beautiful work but not one meant for shuffle play.
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