1993, Music

Where You Been (1993) by Dinosaur Jr

There’s a part of me that listens to this and thinks “it’s another Dinosaur Jr. record, you shouldn’t rate it this high!” I have this obsession with artists who evolve. When artists don’t evolve (enough) I used to dock them points (as if they cared). The older I get, the less I care about this, but it’s still big thing with me.

And these comments of mine suggest the band has not evolved at all. That’s not true: there are hints – chimes!!! – that they are expanding their sound and there is one track in particular where Mascis is outside his (Dinosaur Jr) comfort sound. (I qualify that because I have not heard his solo records.)

My problem, such as it is, is that I am a sucker for this band, even if this is a more accessible version of the band that maybe feels like it’s trying to parrot off the commercial success of the bands that followed in its wake by making its own commercial breakthrough. The songs are still song, there’s still lots of grime and Mascis still shows off his chops enough for my liking.

So I quite like this but it definitely isn’t quite up to their standard and, as I try to think about it in context, I do realize that it is a bit of a bid to get on the radio (at a time when that might have been possible for a band like this).

7/10

All songs written by J Mascis.

  1. “Out There” 5:52
  2. “Start Choppin” 5:39
  3. “What Else Is New” 5:09
  4. “On the Way” 3:27
  5. “Not the Same” 6:00
  6. “Get Me” 5:50
  7. “Drawerings” 4:49
  8. “Hide” 4:11
  9. “Goin Home” 4:14
  10. “I Ain’t Sayin” 2:27
  • J Mascis – organ, guitar, piano, chimes, composer, drums on track 3, lead vocals, producer, timpani
  • Mike Johnson – bass, guitar, piano, backing vocals, 1st guitar solo on “Get Me”
  • Murph – drums

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