Several Shades of Why
Label: Sub Pop Records
J Mascis' fifth record of solo material, Several Shades Of Why, is a collection of acoustic songs marked by the '90s guitar god's wavery, gentle vocals and knack for melodic hooks at the chorus. He may not decode the universe through a bank of guitar pedals or layer sheets of noise like his work with Dinosaur Jr., but Mascis' playing, often picked here, is always impeccable -- as distinctive as Neil Young's but shot through with Mascis' own ordered precision. There are no sloppy accidents with his music; the dude always knows exactly what he's doing.