Review by Jason Ankeny
A collection of devotional songs dedicated to Amma, the living Indian saint Sri Mata Arritanandarrayi Devi, this self-released disc represents the most beautiful and nakedly emotional music J Mascis has ever created. Though favoring acoustic guitars and simple, circular melodies, it’s as powerful as anything ever wrought by Dinosaur Jr., with the crucial difference that it soothes the soul instead of warping the brain. While Mascis’ quavering voice always articulated the emotional turmoil his splatterpunk lyrics once conspicuously avoided, here he confronts his spiritual conflicts with poignant honesty, contemplating confusion, isolation, and loss in unflinching detail. When he finally plugs in his guitar for the closing "Heavy Metal Ai Girl Nandini," a blistering reinterpretation of a Sanskrit hymn some 1,300 years old, the catharsis is monumental.