Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Fossils “More Light” – one reporter’s opinion

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    Hearing "More Light" for the first few times is much like seeing the girl you had a crush on in High School (though you never dared to tell her) again, years after you had lost track of her. Suddenly you see again how beautiful she is. Sure, she’s grown a little older, but she’s still the same girl – and the tears well up in your eyes as you see everything that made you fall so desperately in love with her all those years ago.

    That’s not to say that I lost track of J’s work in the last few years. I still listen to Dinosaur Jr. all the time. But "More Light" made me realize again what I love so much about J’s music. There are the melodies that sound a little strange when you hear them for the first time, but won’t get out of your head all day when you’ve heared them a few times more. There are the lyrics that you hardly understand at first, but that become clearer and more significant every time you listen to the album. And there’s J’s tormented and lovely voice that’s so full of meaning.

    But this doesn’t mean that everything has stayed the same. Remember when J’s solo’s could go on for minutes, and developed quite slowly and fluently? It seems like those days – the days of "Where you been" – are definitely over. The solo’s on "More Light", like on "Hand it Over", are faster, shorter, more ‘noisy’, and not so often get to be the main ‘voice’ in a large part of the song. And more often than before J chooses for a riff to start a song ("Back Before You Go", that reminded me of "Kiss my a**", the tribute for Kiss that J contributed a song to, and "I’m Not Fine").
    But is this a bad thing? Well, personally I would have loved to hear more guitar in the WYB-style ("Out There", "What else is new", "Turnip Farm"). The way the guitar in that songs seems to be a voice that tells long and melancholic stories, is an important reason why "Where you been" is my favorite album of all times. But then, we also don’t want J to make a second "Where you been" (or do we?). And there are a lot of other, new things to enjoy on "More Light". Bob Pollard’s beautiful vocals in "Same Day", the keyboard that works perfectly in "Ground Me To You", and the amazing noise of the song "More Light".

    I also see some change in the lyrics. One thing is that they are somewhat lighter, which makes "More Light" an excellent title. While on previous albums most lyrics seemed to deal with loneliness and the broken pieces of failed relationships, now many lyrics seem to be about the doubts and problems that arise in trying to make a relationship work. The other thing I noticed may be related to this, and that’s the fact that religion seems to be an issue in some of the songs. I may not have heared it right, but I think J’s sings "but it’s God who gave me this" in "Same Day", and "I need God beside me" in "Back Before You Go". He also talks about the "Ammaring", which is – as J told Jeremiah – "a ring with Amma’s face, an indian saint".
    I’m not sure what to think about these things. I have to admit that lyrics as a general rule can’t get sad and lonely enough for me, and that I don’t believe in any God(s). But on the other hand, if this means that J is more happy with his life than before, that’s great. And the lyrics on "More Light" are still beautiful, so what the hell.

    Though you sometimes wish that girl I talked about when I started this review would stay sixteen forever, you know that’s not going to happen. But she stayed essentially the same, and you love her for it.


    "Stop the sleep,
    can’t vegetate no more.
    Snap me out of it,
    I’m done with my old friend."

    – J Mascis

    <FONT>This message has been edited by jasper on January 06, 2001 at 05:48 PM</font>



    I just wanna thank you for this review!!!!!!!!!
    Couldnt (like always), have said it better.
    Your absolutely right, it feels the same, but in a way it is a completely new style.
    And I think that we should be thankful that J is changing his music even still, while other bands are sticking with the same thing for years.



    great review.

    it made me cry, it was so sweet

    take care

    chris smith



    I have to agree with everyone else. You said a lot of what I’ve been thinkin. Good job!



    Fantastic Review Jasper!


    Sold my soul and all I got was this lousy T-shirt…




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