Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 in Review: The “Reunion Album That Not Only Didn’t Suck, It Was Actually Good” Award

This award, in honor of not proving to be a disgrace to the legacy of a great band, goes to:

Dinosaur Jr.
Fat Possum

After the debacle with you-know-who, I wasn’t even going to bother with this one. I was never a huge Dinosaur Jr. fan, but I liked them enough not to want an ever-so-fashionable reunion album to give me a reason to look down on them. But I kept hearing people with taste telling me that the single was actually good, so I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth, and put it on. “Almost Ready” started playing, and my eyes perked open, my mouth opened in surprise, and after about thirty seconds, I turned to whoever I was with and said “wait a second, this is really good!” Not just a tolerable rehash (although they haven’t changed their sound a bit), this is an album that can stand proudly with their best albums from the pre-grunge days. Each of the songs is memorable in its own right, Mascis’ voice has acquired enough middle-aged croak to sound like he’s having actual emotions, and Lou Barlow brings in some of the best songs on the album. Now if only we could get albums this good out of all the other 80’s underground acts who are cashing in on their retroactive fame, we’d be set.

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