Friday, July 11, 2008

Full Immersion: First Blush Roundup Vol 3

Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
I pretty much thought... that this album was a near seamless blend of what had always made Dinosaur work. And I called you a slacker. Sorry about that. You're not a slacker. Just a little lazy.

First Blush is cool because... "this is a classic Dino track. Stringy-haired gentleman across this land are bobbing their heads back and forth as we speak." Just a really heartening image in my opinion.
I'm obviously a genius because I said... "'Think about the future, let the past unwind,' which I guess kind of explains how we got to this point." I thought that was a pretty nice get on the fly and still rather profound in retrospect.
I'm obviously an an idiot because I said... "Verrry Thunderkiss ’65! (chun-chun-chugga-cha-chun-chun-chugga)" Really, that's not so idiotic, but it's the best example I could find. I was way on point throughout this review, if I do say so myself. OK, now I've proven my idiocy, right?
With the benefit of greater experience with the album, I now say... that I can't tell the difference between this latest Dinosaur Jr. release and everything they've done previously. And that's a good thing in this case. As I mentioned in the review, it's often difficult to keep Dino's song names straight. And now when I hear songs from this album, I have to think for a second about which release they come from. It's one of the band's strongest outputs, and the songs played great live as well. I can't wait for the next one.

I pretty much thought... that there were some positive aspects, but overall the album seemed a bit too homogeneous and lacked the substance and flair of the Pumpkins' greater achievements.
First Blush is cool because... of the free, Best Buy bonus track, I said, "So far this is like getting free fat on your steak."
I'm obviously a genius because I said... "I am getting concerned about the album just being hair metal at this point."
I'm obviously an an idiot because I said... "'Yes, Lord, I’m sinkin’.' I can’t recall a previous God reference in a SP song. Seems out of character for Corgan. Like he doesn’t mean it." I'm pretty certain that statement is not true. I mean, "I am One" was all about the Holy Trinity, right?
With the benefit of greater experience with the album, I now say... it's a near miss. Unfortunately, that what's missing is crucial makes it a pretty lousy album overall. Honestly, I admire what Corgan was going for. Nobody really rocks anymore except for bands like Slipknot who don't really mean it, and they approached these songs with some serious gusto. But the whole thing remains very lacking. I think I hit the nail on the head in the initial review when I said, "I wonder if they even had a chance to work through these songs before making the album. Usually bands can try things out in front of audiences first." And also when I said, "I can’t see myself slogging through this album over and over again." Perhaps they've improved the songs by working them out in their live set by now. There was a ton of potential in their approach. It was just errant potential. And all the self-congratulatory attitude in the liner notes aren't going to do much to endear people to the band. I still believe the Smashing Pumpkins may have one last great album in them. But this definitely wasn't it. I haven't listened to it all that much since it came out.

I pretty much thought... that the band was forging new ground and had come up with a handful of compelling and unique songs amidst some less interesting ones.
First Blush is cool because... "Now the vocals are louder, but so is everything else and I can’t make anything out except an accentuated 'fucking'."
I'm obviously a genius because I said... of All Fired Up, "2:00 – This is somehow lighter and heavier than a usual Interpol track at the same time. Like it’s dense and agile at the same time. Does that make any sense? 2:38 – “I’ve got this soul. It’s all fired up!” See what I mean? Heavy and light?"
I'm obviously an an idiot because I said...
"Almost kind of poppy. I don’t really mean that. I don’t know what I mean. But this track has a different feel than any Interpol song I’ve heard before. But it’s still distinctly them."
With the benefit of greater experience with the album, I now say... that it's a fine release, but not an all-time classic. I spun the hell out of it last summer leading up to Lollapalooza and thoroughly enjoyed it at the time, but my interest has waned a bit. I feel like this album came out three years ago. Perhaps that is because it fails to differentiate itself from anything Interpol's done before. As a friend of mine said recently, "Interpol made a great album, and then they made it again two more times." Above, I praise Dinosaur Jr. for making an album that fits in the greater scheme of their catalogue. So is this hypocritical for me? Not really because if this premise is true, Interpol doesn't really have a catalogue. Anyway, I still think it's a solid release, but it had about a four month shelf-life before it receded to the background of my CD collection. Or maybe it is forever tarnished by the fisticuffs during their Lolla set. Still, it's definitely a solid release, even if there's no track as gripping as "Evil" or "NYC."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of Dinosaur's strongest records? Not sure about that. It lacks the clarity and the big solos of the 90's albums (e.g. Hand it Over) nor is it as sonically adventurous as the early period (e.g. Bug). They had many albums with some filler tracks and this one is no exception. What's lacking are the standouts like "Alone", "Blowin' it" or "Start choppin"