October 20, 2002 at 5:54 pm #43763
the Germans seem to be very keen with reviews <img>
Short interview: webmag.de/ junges berlin
Album review: musikreport.de
Album review:visions.de (click on the J- link)
Another Album review: freenet.de
I found this review on many different sites in different editorial outfits…
I’ll translate them one after the other, soon <img>
It’s not really hard to translate that stuff, by the way. I let google run over it and then I try to put some sense back into it again <img>October 20, 2002 at 5:57 pm #57726
hEY HAppy Cloud <img>
Thanks for finding them
My german is not that good
so looking forward to yr translationsOctober 20, 2002 at 7:47 pm #57727Quote:"Itâ€™s better to be compared with Neil Young than with somebody who sucksâ€October 20, 2002 at 8:27 pm #57728
hey, finally someone (besides of me!) who praises "Say the Word" <img>
</font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font> "Say the Word" … one of the coolest tracks of the record. </font><hr></blockquote><font>Album review: musikreport <img>
***Let’s cut it shot: "Free so Free" is the record, that I would have expected from Bob Mould. But while he turns industriously a multitude of buttons and releases somewhat musty records, J Mascis proves once again that good songwriters do not have to be innovative.
The fact that the former head of Dinosaur Jr. makes music with devotion might have gotten about in the meantime. Suitably to the title "Free so Free", the album appears joyfully and positively and it’s old fashioned in the best sense. In the second last song, "Say The Word" he plays long sequences of guitar chords, [oh my, the word ‘gniedelt’ doesn’t even exist in German, how can I translate it? <img> it means something like playing a lot of quite oblique chords without thinking much about how they come out; FC] probably even the guitar wood might have began to sweat. Completely relaxed, J Mascis acts as "the big rock guitarist" and delivers one of the coolest tracks of the record. The fact that he recorded all ten Songs nearly alone and that the record nevertheless has got a dynamic band feeling, is only a further ‘plus’ of a really big indie record.[dmm]***October 21, 2002 at 7:12 pm #57729
visions.de a review, quite on an average, IMHO <img>
*****J Mascis is one of the very few musicians who are nowadays still permitted to produce excessive guitar solos and to make them hit the listeners’ ears.
Same thing here. J Mascis makes it easy for the listener, his name is his program. "Free so Free" it shouts from the record cover, and freedom is the pervasive topic of the new album, both lyrically and composition-wise. While his laconical style of singing persists consistently throughout the ten songs, the songwriting appers plasantly colourful and sophisticated. Fast rock songs stand besides elaboratively arranged ballads. And once again he renders homage to the high arts of the guitar solo – J Mascis is allowed to do that. And he doesn’t let people ask him twice. Thus there is a heavily distorted solo on "Bobbin", which indeed doesn’t omit any tone. Unfortunately it’s not enough to divert from the quite penetrating chorus.
Immediately thereafter the guitarman rings the second time ( <img> ; FC) and surprises with a beautiful solo, this time on the acoustic guitar. The ex-Dinosaur Jr. head gives an idea of his infinite chord cosmos, that remains naturally very strongly connected to his past. And nevertheless: What is to be heard on the new album, pleases. It’s not highly innovative, but the atmosphere created by J Mascis takes effect. You can’ find very often the condition of weightlessness and of boundless freedom, in a marvelously unlofty arranged and integrated into a rock context as on "Free so Free". Valeska Bogatzke
valuation: 8 points out of twelve
<small>[ 10-21-2002, 05:27 PM: Message edited by: Flying Cloud ]</small>October 21, 2002 at 7:24 pm #57730
here’s the last one (at least for today <img> ):
freenet.de album review, and like I said before, the same review can be found in many other German online magazines, too.
It exaggerates at some points, but it shows some creativity, too <img>
*****One thing right at the start: For me, "Free so Free" is one of the best Dinosaur records ever. Even if the whole thing is now called "J Mascis + the Fog (since the release of "More Light"), nevertheless it still contains the far and broad beloved Dino and that is fine. Since J. Mascis found his unmistakable style regarding singing, songwriting and guitar playing with the phantasic second Dinosaur (jr.) record "You’re Living All Over Me" and the associated monster single "Little Fury Things", I pursue the development of this selfmade god of strings who was born as an American hillbilly and I can’t actually remember a bad record under the Dino seal of quality. Surely, not each of them has been continuously as convincing as "You’re.." or as the chart breaker ( <img> ) "Freakscene", but at least one hit is actually to be found on each album. The remainder was at least o.k. to very much o.k. and had this unmistakable Mascis thing. It’s a mixture out of hard and rocking but nevertheless very fragile, out of melancholic and nevertheless carrying away and well hidden good mood.
And "Free so Free" stands exactly in this tradition, a typical J.M. record with wicked guitar solos which make hobby guitarists cry, and with tunes, so crazily simple and crazily beautiful without ever slipping into boring easy listening. In addition the croaking nasal voice, which one can distinguish among thousands of singers, always a breath besides the tone, apparently. And this time again with an astonishing variety of hit songs. Where only does the guy take all those terrific songs from?
Right at the start it’s rattling beautifully with "Freedom", pop and rock and underground in a familiar and confident unity. The second track ("If That’s How It’s Gotta Be") is my personal favorite, a – well, ballad at first only with vocals and with an acoustic guitar that whines softly in the background, until suddenly there comes a break and the song grabs you powerfully. Well, then he shows his masterly skills: he shows himself and us how to rock. Woah and wow. With the title song, also an outstanding track, and "Someone Said" there are two calmer songs, the remainder is held in the usual J. Mascis pace. A longplayer which one can listen to completely without without skipping and yawning. As a worthy conclusion of the whole thing, there is "Outside", another catchy tune.
5 Points from Krausnik with love.*****October 22, 2002 at 2:26 am #57731
Hey FC, thanks again for the translations, you’re becoming an expert! <img>November 5, 2002 at 7:24 pm #57732
… those freaky Germans really made a form of sports out of J – reviews <img>
Here’s the translation:
****"Everybody Let’s Me Down" by "J. Mascis & The Fog"
J. Mascis, the expert of an excessively scrubbing guitar sound and a slowly mumbling singing, rediscovered a quality of live, that drove him to a maximum output in his new Song: Freedom! Felicitousness! Yeah!
"Peace, joy and egg cake" [a well known German saying to describe an unreliable state of happiness <img> FC] – we won’t believe that J Mascis found to these values. After all, the junior-dino workaholic is rather well-known for his melancholic, depressive and noisy rock songs. But his new album "Free so Free" keeps dealing with the luck in life, freedom, happiness and so on. Correctly! we can we go elsewhere to speculate, grumble, gripe and lament. Although: "Everybody Let’s me down", sings the tall guy with the guitar, not really a happy analysis, but it rather sounds, as if he has shaken some unpleasant, annoying flies off his solid body. And there’s J.Mascis & The Fog written on the cover, but you’re reminded of something, what you’ve adored in the 90’s: Dinosaur Jr.! J.Mascis found back to his earlier high form and he chases us with guitar cascades from one height to the next. (os)November 16, 2002 at 3:56 pm #57733
some more short German reviews:
… and the translation:
J Mascis + The Fog – Free so Free
"Free so Free" is the second album, with which J. Mascis reappears out of the fog of the ancient world into the blinding light. Once more, the former Dinosaur shows consistency: he serves only hard food. Being entirely free, he paces off his usual circuit track, collects a block of electric guitar thunder at each station and uses tender tunes to let it melt like a glacier in the desert. One can hear the hum of time, of freedom and even of truth. Apparently each single tone has gone through an endless struggle for freedom. One can sit in front of it and watch the chords cheering because of their new freedom. J. Mascis invites everyone, who is free enough for it.
For everyone else, "Free so Free" is a large-scale arrangement, eternally set in concrete out of sound. Everything is brightly and pleasingly, almost transparently. One has the hunch, Mascis is so free to play the game "looking at old pictures – me, 10 years ago".
For those who like old albums. There is one thing missing on the disc: Song eleven and the following -because the album ends after ten pithy songs. What remains is: to play the record over and over again, hoping for the next coup.
* * * * * *
No question, the man is free now, and clarified. Those who had the chance to see the unbelievable acoustic show last year in the venue "GebÃ¤ude 9" in Cologne, know what I mean. J Mascis is entirely reposeful. The way how he was sitting there in his favorite cardigan with his oversized glasses and his favorite cushion, blowing out the hits, until people were almost moved to tears, that was grand. His newest hobby, according to the record company, is skydiving, and apparently also to be in a good mood, because "Free so Free" is a good deal more positively and buoyantly than all previous records. But we don’t have to be afraid: Even a Mascis in a good mood is still lamenting. There is nothing to complain about, except perhaps the all too playful guitar solos, which are in a a way like we actually don’t want to hear them anymore since the 80’s. [raw]
* * * * * *
Joseph "J" Mascis wrote rock history, together with Dinosaur Jr. And he understands it to write beautiful, melodic rock songs, which are remarkable in their genuine authenticity and their purity of composition – these are the reasons why every second rock band refers to his records [ <img> … would be great, though; FC]
With "Free so Free", Mascis publishes his third longplayer production after the end of his previous alternative rock formation. He didn’t ever concern about sales figures, but always – until today – about music: "When writing a song, I’m fully concentrating on the music and on creating something that I’d like to play over and over again. Because that’s what an artist has to do with his songs. The lyrics I write only because I have to sing about something."
Freedom is what he’s concerned about above all, it’s his prevailing topic and the main context of "Free so Free". Mascis discovered his new faible for ‘freedom without any conditions’ during skydiving, his new passion, many of the songs actually arose whilst he was free falling, "somewhere between skies and earth".
* * * * * *
<small>[ 11-17-2002, 07:06 AM: Message edited by: Flying Cloud ]</small>November 16, 2002 at 10:21 pm #57734
Het FC, thanks again for all those translations… <img>December 4, 2002 at 5:14 pm #57735
I just found another German "Free so Free" review:
After the separation from the band name "Dinosaur Jr" (to which so much indie-wishfulness is attached), J Mascis already allowed the light to get beneath his odd hippy hair on the debut album of his pseudo band "The Fog". Rarely he appeard so freed like on "More Light". And even though Mr. Mascis never has been the fastest, now he can finally admit it: "Free so Free" – the title is his program. The Opener "Freedom" grooves unexpectedly buoyant with a pop tune, the song "If That’s How Its Gotta Be" cuddles itself up like an acoustic guitar which is disguised as a cat and on "Bobbin’ ", there is bluesrock like Q.O.T.S.A. surely wouldn’t ever play: Fluctuations of speed, stumbling drum fills and a howling backing choir out of high pitched voices. Why the hell doesn’t all this doesn’t get on my nerves? Is it the hero bonus… or is he just simply allowed to do all these things?
For the title track, "Free so Free" finally Mascis’ role model Neil Young was the godfather [:roll:; FC], not only for the lyrics, but above all for the guitar works – nevertheless all that sounds of course neither ridiculous or assiduous, but simply melting beautiful.
It goes on like that: There are placid Beatles tunes with distorted Mashall sounds bubbling in the background, on "Everybody Lets Me Down" he quotes his own history and then at the end, there is the classic, never ending guitar solo, in which J Mascis is able to pull all the registers [Sagt man so?/Exp.?; FC]. Yes. He’s allowed to do that. He and Neil Young.
"Free so Free" mabe won’t make it into my top five of all Dinosaur/Mascis releases, but it makes me happy that he’s still around, that he still sings as if he just got out of bed that he writes songs as if was still 1988 and as if Indie was still alive and kicking.
Rating: 7,5 out of 10
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