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J + Friends Sing + Chant for AMMA

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Album Review

A collection of devotional songs dedicated to Amma, the living Indian saint Sri Mata Arritanandarrayi Devi, this self-released disc represents the most beautiful and nakedly emotional music J Mascis has ever created. Though favoring acoustic guitars and simple, circular melodies, it's as powerful as anything ever wrought by Dinosaur Jr., with the crucial difference that it soothes the soul instead of warping the brain. While Mascis' quavering voice always articulated the emotional turmoil his splatterpunk lyrics once conspicuously avoided, here he confronts his spiritual conflicts with poignant honesty, contemplating confusion, isolation, and loss in unflinching detail. When he finally plugs in his guitar for the closing "Heavy Metal Ai Girl Nandini," a blistering reinterpretation of a Sanskrit hymn some 1,300 years old, the catharsis is monumental.


Born: 10 December 1965 in Amherst, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known as the remote frontman of the influential indie trio Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis has also been an occasional producer and film composer. Born December 10, 1965 in Amherst, Massachusetts, he first emerged as a member of the hardcore unit Deep Wound, founding Dinosaur in 1984. Over the course of acclaimed LPs like 1987's You're Living All Over Me and 1988's Bug, the group emerged among the most highly regarded in alternative rock, with Mascis' creaky, Neil Young-like vocals and monolithic guitar...
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