Monday, December 19, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #60: "Several Shades of Why" -- J. Mascis

While on a break from regular band Dinosaur Jr., frontman J Mascis released his first solo record, Several Shades of Why, in March on Sub Pop Records. The album was largely acoustic, highlighting Mascis' guitar work in addition to his wavering, aging voice.

The title track from that album ended up his most poignant yet.

With nothing more than an acoustic guitar, Mascis questions the world around him in an introspective folk ballad. The occasional violin wafts in and out of existence, but it's Mascis' beautiful guitar playing that really sets this apart.

"Several Shades of Why" is a song for a cold winter day, looking out over the snow as you ponder life. It's harmless and pleasant. A perfect addition to a playlist of 2011's best acoustic fare.

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