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VINE VOICEon September 18, 2012
'I Bet on Sky' is the 3rd cd since J, Lou, and Murph got back together and, defying all expectations, made fantastic new music. This, like 'Beyond' and 'Farm' continues their winning streak. It's got everything you want from Dino Jr. - great riffs, wonderful melodies, J.'s unique voice, 2 great Barlow tracks, and of course, guitars guitars guitars. No one in the alternative rock world can solo quite like J. There isn't anything groundbreaking here, and for me at least, I don't need that. These guys are masters at what they do, and they do it well. If you are a fan, you'll love it!
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on September 18, 2012
Been a Dinosaur Jr fan since time began. Let me first say that the song "See It On Your Side" is a classic. It's what I come to Dino for - powerful, a touch of melancholy, amazing solo, the whole nine yards. The rest of the album, unfortunately, I find to be rather so-so. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad album. It just lacks that bite; the intangibles that make you want to come back and listen again and again. Suffice it to say this is one of the few Mascis/Dino Jr albums I probably won't be listening to on loop. You will like it, and more than a few songs will grow on you, but it's not quite as good as Farm, which I could simply not stop listening too.
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on October 12, 2012
It's not often a band can deteriorate so quickly and so publicly then come back together after 15 years and be even better than they were at their pinnacle. Many bands have attempted this feat but have never succeeded the way Dinosaur Jr have. After the original line up of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph crumbled under personal issues Dinosaur Jr continued to great success through the 90s with Mascis and Murph till 1994. Murph left and then there was one. Mascis kept the fire stoked and continued on, recording albums by himself throughout the 90s as Barlow went through several therapy sessions called Sebadoh and made a name for himself as a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with(and someone who just needed a hug). In 2005, by some miracle and despite all the resentment between Mascis and Barlow the original line up reunited and put out the excellent Beyond. It didn't feel like a money grab. It felt like three guys that found their way back home. To prove the naysayers wrong, 2009 found Dinosaur Jr back in the saddle yet again with the even better and more ambitious Farm.

The reunion was over. The Dino boys were back in full swing.

2011 saw Mascis releasing a mostly acoustic solo album called Seven Shades of Why to much acclaim. A great, intimate album full of Mascis' ever present sleepy delivery and in Neil Young mode. But then a few months ago album art appeared online for a new Dino Jr album. Then an album title was shared. I Bet On Sky. First single `Watch The Corners' was presented as a shining example of what happens when a band can put their personal differences aside and do what they do best: play music. Finally after months of waiting I Bet On Sky has been released and is here to tell us one thing and one thing only: Dinosaur Jr is back, so deal with it.

I Bet On Sky is the best Dinosaur Jr album since Green Mind. There, I said it. Not since that major label debut has Dinosaur Jr sounded this free, loose and comfortable in their own shoes. A lot of that album's care-free and loose vibe came from the fact that Mascis recorded it by himself for the most part. He was free to do what he wanted. No worries about what the other guys are gonna think. Well, 21 years later Mascis sounds like he's back to that care-free vibe of making songs. Maybe he's made peace with his bandmates. Maybe becoming a dad has taken some of the bitterness of life and washed it away. Or maybe it's none of those things. Whatever it is, album opener `Don't Pretend You Didn't Know' is a prime example of a band in top form. Kind of funky, kind of melancholy and more longing than pleading it's a great opening track for this band's 2012 gift to the world. Funky guitars and mellotron strings permeate this excellent track before the crunchy breakdown in the bridge gives way back to the purple mist funk cloud this song floats on. Lead single `Watch The Corners' is up next with it's chugging metal crunch and Mascis singing "Every morning came/I don't like that you can hide in/We expect the same/but I've no one to confide in". The gift Mascis has in his writing is his ability to come up with massive guitar riffs that rattle your teeth but can still fill it in with a great melody and an almost folk feel despite your bleeding eardrums. `Almost Fare' is a downright pretty song. Maybe even one of the prettiest songs these three noise purveyors have ever recorded. In an alternate universe this track would be a radio hit.

Song after song on this excellent album Dinosaur Jr give the finger to the naysayers(not that there's that many out there) and prove that they can set their differences and personality clashes aside so they can get to the business of making music. I Bet On Sky will go down as one of the very best of 2012. And it's certainly the best post-reunion album they've made so far. Mascis, Barlow and Murph have taken all those elements that have made Dinosaur Jr one of the most well-respected, revered and loved indie rock bands to walk the earth and put them together to make a career highlight. As Mascis sings in `Pierce The Morning Rain', "Pierce the morning rain/I'm free again/Others wouldn't stay/I stuck with you my friend", I wonder who he's singing that to? Us, the fans? Barlow and Murph? Music in general? Who or whatever he's singing to, all I can say is I'm glad you stuck with us too J Mascis.

Thanks.
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on October 11, 2012
Could this be their best ever? I know there are those that say You're Living All Over Me or Bug will hold that distinction. But I'm not so sure. As great as Beyond and Farm are, this is better than either of them. My favorites of their earlier work were Green Mind and Where You Been?, so maybe that says something about me preferences. I really like Don't Pretend you Didn't Know and Almost Fare, but the whole album is simply awesome.
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on January 3, 2013
DJR was one of my favorite bands from the 90s. This album is not the 90s, it is a rebirth, a truly great piece of work. If you were a fan of the band, hated the band, or never heard of the band- you will probably like this album.
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on October 3, 2012
10th album from Massachusetts indie guitar heroes. Dinosaur Jr. was a really good band the first
time around. In their second incarnation, they've uncovered a magical quality that taps into their
free-wheeling, from-the-heart, flowing poignancy to deliver a unique stylistic stamp of yearning,
pulling, hummable, classic indie riff-rock. It's one of those rare instances where, instead of killing
passion, the band's maturation has actually solidified it. Their 2009 "Farm" album was my #1
pick for that year, and repeated listenings have raised its status to one of the top releases of the
past decade, or longer. "I Bet On Sky" feels more playful & diverse, giving up some of the epic
sincerity that characterized "Farm". It remains to be seen how well "...Sky" will wear, but after
just a few listens, it's already one of my favorite albums of 2012. The combination of J Mascis'
plaintive, gripping, slightly off-key vocals and flowing bursts of stunning guitar leads consistently
reveals a sort of timeless indie rock quality that's a very rare find. It's beautiful, it rocks, and I
want to live with it. Members have played with Deep Wound, Beachwood Sparks, Witch, Sweet
Apple, Heavy Blanket, the Lemonheads, Sentridoh, Folk Implosion, Sebadoh. This is an album
that can call my turntable "home".
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on January 29, 2013
Since the original guys got back together this is the best one. Beyond and Farm are great , like I said 3 for 3 but this has the whole Dinosaur package to a tee. Melodic , noisy, great songs in general and plenty of J's fretwork. Keep it up guys.
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on November 22, 2012
Dinosaur Jr has been delivering work equal to their Green Mind days with the last two albums. There are a few tracks on I Bet On Sky I didn't care for (perhaps I have unresolved Barlow issues?) but overall this is a solid addition to the catalog. Absolutely worth picking up.
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on April 3, 2013
UPDATE****
Nope, after the fourth listen it finally started gelling to me. I think the album is fantastic. Again, it was my own self-hyped expectations. I went in on the fourth listen, in a good mood, and in a serene mood and just let the music wash over me. There is a dynamic-ness to the music on this album, which IS ambitious. I wasn't listening the first 2 1/2 times around. It's funny, this album will probably rank higher for me than Farm or Beyond when the dust settles.

Fantastic. They are just fantastic.

Sorry Chuck, you're on your own. Or better yet, let go of the expectations and give it another couple go a rounds. Cheers!

old post in response to an average review****
I'm on my 3rd listen of the album. Watch the Corners is the highlight for me. Can easily be placed on a greatest hit mix, but I see what you are saying. I'm going to give it another few listens, but I absolutely loved Farm and Beyond, and most of the old stuff.

I could be wrong, but it seems this was a deadline record. If they had another year to craft it, my guess is some of the songs would have been re-worked or not on this album. Could be wrong, and DJ is always good, no matter what.

It's still "Tough Fun" always feeling good to me, even if the subject is sad. It's the DJ signature sound for me that keeps me always coming back. I mean, there were obvious riffs that were direct copies or close to it from even the recent stuff.
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on January 4, 2013
Since they have reunited, Dinosaur has been consistently making good music, and this is no exception. I definitely miss Lou's in-your-face distorted bass from the old records, though. At the very least, download "Watch the Corners" from this album. If you pull together the best material from Beyond, Farm, and I Bet On Sky, you have one heck of an album. Having said that, for those of you who want the "best" of the material from the last three albums, I assembled the following playlist:

1. Almost Ready (Beyond)
2. Watch the Corners (Sky)
3. Almost Fare (Sky)
4. Pick Me Up (Beyond)
5. Back To Your Heart (Beyond)
6. Over It (Farm)
7. Don't Pretend You Didn't Know (Sky)
8. See You (Farm)
9. Recognition (Sky)
10. Pieces (Farm)
11. Been There All The Time (Beyond)
12. Plans (Farm)
13. Your Weather (Farm)
14. Said The People (Farm)
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