Sunday, December 09, 2012

Album Review: I Bet On You

Title:  I Bet On You (Big Cartel, Jagjaguwar Records, Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)

On their third album since reuniting with the original lineup (and 10th overall), Dinosaur Jr. has done what few bands have ever been able to accomplish, and that is a successful reunion that moves beyond nostalgia.  Dinosaur Jr.’s first two post reunion records were excellent and I Bet On You is no different.  This record is probably the quietest in the band’s discography, with J Mascis showing a deliberate restraint resulting in songs driven by melody and power pop hooks instead of roaring guitars.  Now that’s not to say that the record lacks the signature Mascis’ guitar solos because they are there, but in a controlled nature.  I Bet On You’s loudest moments are in the middle of the record with the Lou Barlow penned and sung “Rude,” a supremely catchy indie rock number that ranks up there with his best work in Sebadoh, followed by two Mascis classics in “I Know It Oh So Well” and “Pierce the Morning Rain.”  What rings clearest on this album is the unbelievable talent of Mascis, Barlow, and drummer Murph resulting in a record that is fresh and familiar while showing growth and development.  Needless to say, I Bet On You is a must for any Dinosaur Jr. fan.    

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