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Free So Free

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Oct. 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: City Slang
  • ASIN: B00006L40C
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,122 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Freedom
2. If That’s How Its Got To Be
3. Set Us Free
4. Bobbin
5. Free So Free
6. Tell The Truth
7. Someone Said
8. Everybody Lets Me Down
9. Say The Word
10. Outside

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. A. C. Jackson on 3 Sept. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Time passes, bands and scenes come and go, and J Mascis is still doing his melodic rock and endless solos. Thank God. Things haven't changed much for J in the last decade or so: Keyboards and sound effects come and go, but it's still down to his skidding drums, roving bass and luminous, brilliant guitar playing. His tunes make me think of really well made, masterfully painted surfboards. It's cool to have someone like him who is so single-mindedly into his Thing that he's got it down pat, yet still surprises.
In the past the real sticking point with all of Mascis' stuff has been the singing and the lyrics. The guy must be knocking on 40, but he's still not escaped from the adolescent bedroom of his mind. In the past I've rolled my eyes whenever one of his "Me/Be" rhymes comes up. But on "Free So Free" you can see that he's opened up a bit, singing about his friends, freedom etc. And you've got to go with him, because you can tell it's heartfelt. Apparently he's taken up skydiving and was inspired by the freedom of the fall: you can certainly feel the rush and wonder of jumping out of a plane when you hear the gorgeous opening track- one of his best ever tunes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Nov. 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a long standing Mascis fan I had some reservations about More Light. I checked this out when people started making favourable comparisons with his old band Dinosaur Jr's "Where You Been?" which is in my view high my Top 20 essential albums of the 90s. I actually think they're right! Time will tell if this deserves rating alongside such a classic but, in the meantime, enjoy this corking album that should appeal to most guitar-based rock fans.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "uber_rickman" on 21 Oct. 2002
Format: Audio CD
What another great album form J Mascis and the Fog. 2000's More Light was a classic record far surpassing anything Mascis did with the outstanding Dinosaur Jr. Free So Free is even better. The guitars mingle together in perfect harmony with songs more like sound scapes than contructed songs. Wistfull tracks such as Freedom and Free So Free feature some of the most lilting and emotive work Mascis has produced evoking memerories of his live acoustic gig a few years back in London. But the record also has a very classic rock feel to it especially on the glam like rock and roll stomp that is Bobbin. Vocally Mascis is still found in full slacker territory with his whiny, nasal style having changed not one bit from his Dinosaur Jr days. However, lyrically mascis is at his best with some of his most heartfelt and emotive lyrics contained within. The lyrics seem to talk of contentment and accepting the way life is while still searching that elusive moment of true happiness. A musical, lyrical and emotional success Free So Free is fantastic. Oh and did I mention that J sure can play a mean solo!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave Bishop on 30 Oct. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Wow, after being absolutley gutted at my other two favorite guitarists (John Squire and Bernard Butler) albums this year I was kinda dreading this one arriving, but I have to say I couldn't have been more surprised!
It is as good as my favorite Dino jr album (Where you been?) and that really is high praise indeed. I didn't like More Light - apart from maybe Ammaring, but this is so good it untrue!
Freedom is such a top opener for an album with Joseph Donald Mascis Jr going through all of his awesome guitar tones. It sets the tone of the record well as freedom seems to be the main theme in the songs. Bobbin is like J's take on T-Rexs Get It On. Free So Free is quite jazzy but with an incredible solo. The single Everybody lets me down is also a triumphant piece of rock veering out of control after the last solo!
Oh yeah, all fans of the idol are gonna want to know? Dave whats the best solo on the album? Easy - track 9 Say the Word, after one verse he launches into an orgasmic solo thats so long but so good its untrue, just when you think it can't get better he adds more and more sonic mayhem until you are reduced to a gibbering wreck - and then he drops back into the verse! what a genius!
This is the living proof J Mascis is God!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Don't Believe Everything You Read 25 Oct. 2002
By Rappers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have just read three, horrible scathing reviews for this record. Now I'm not really into writing reviews, as you usually find only people who really love a record will review it so in terms of bias you're getting alot. Thing is, I have to defend this record. I'm from the New School where I prefer J's output since "Where You Been" rather than before it. Ok the last Dinosaur records weren't great I admit. "More Light" was a fantastic record and easily topped his Dinosaur output. Now here comes the follow up. It's more of the same really, strong melodies, set to crunching grunge guitar and blistering solos. "Feel So Free" & "Bobbin" are really cool tracks & "Everybody Lets Me Down" is effortless powerpop which sounds so simple but few can pull it off as effectively as J. For the 3 previous reviewers who gave the record 1 star, go back and listen to your 80's indie records as you've obviously not moved on from then. For me "Feel So Free" is a moving record with an engrossing concept of freedom.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
pebbles and weeds 29 May 2003
By Hickory - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
All Im gonna say is that I have been into Dino jr since the early to mid 80's when they realeased their self titled. Every album offers something new and something different (especially the CD single take a run at the sun.) People always wanna compare post 'where've you been' to pre 'where've you been', well you know what it's pointless to do so. Lou Barlow's sound had such an effect on the first few albums that you could eventually tell J wasn't into them so much (because the bass lines slowly sank behind the guitar riffs) so they split up. Lou went to his own bands (sebedoh, etc...) that allowed for his sound but Dino jr has and always will be the music expression of j mascis. With or without a band he would have released the cd and had it sound his way ( and i believe he has played every instrument on a cd before -- check the liners). This CD deserves 5 stars because it is J doin what he does best...make music. At least he is still making music for our ears because there are so many other bands that made music then that I can't stand listening to now. So buy the damn CD, you'll enjoy it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Feeling let down 27 Dec. 2002
By B Sharp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I heard J. Mascis had released a second album with his new project, the Fog, I was elated to say the least. The Fog's initial effort, 2000's "More Light," was fantastic and confirmed my membership in the life-long Dinosaur Jr. and J. Mascis fan club. I saw J play tracks from "More Light" live in Houston and it only confirmed how strong the songs were and how much I can't seem to get enough of J's guitar work.
Unfortunately, that's not been the case with "Free so Free." From the labored feel of the opening cut, "Freedom," to the unparalleled redundance of the word "freedom" itself, the album just seems to be missing the usual brilliance and heart-felt emotion that have characterized J's previous work.
I have played the album three to four times, searching, looking and hoping for that spark that permeates classic Dinosaur Jr. cuts and even the Fog's first release. But I keep coming up empty.
Listening to the album becomes an exercise in pushing the skip button, forever moving to the next track in the hope that a hidden gem will surface that so far has been overlooked.
At moments, it appears a diamond will surface. A hook here or a melodic chorus there jumps out and I'm just about convinced the track is going to be yet another J. Mascis favorite.
But then the hook dies, or the chorus gets swallowed by a bored verse, and I'm left wondering where it went.
Even so, the album is not a complete letdown. There are moments of greatness, moments when J hits the overdrive and pushes his guitar to limits that few guitar players will ever reach.
That's the case on "Say the Word," the album's ninth track. J launches into a wah-wah laced solo that is nothing short of exceptional. And though the solo is lengthy, it is so wonderful you still feel cheated by the time he hits the last note.
And yet, the song itself falls short. The two-chord verse riffs are slow, tedious and generally sound uninspired. It's indicative of the album as a whole.
So, would I suggest buying this album?
Well, that depends. If you are a long-time Dinosaur Jr. and J. Mascis fan, definitely pick this up. Even at its worst, the album is still better than the endless hordes of sound-alike "alternative" bands that currently have a stranglehold on the radio.
But if you've never heard J before and are curious about his work, don't buy this one first. Instead, start with Dinosaur Jr. albums like "Where You Been," "Without a Sound," "Hand it Over" and even earlier releases like the classic "You're Living All Over Me."
And don't forget "More Light" by J and the Fog. It's a great album, too.
Then, after you've been won over by J, come back and pick up "Free so Free." At least then you'll know what you're missing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Free So So 15 Aug. 2006
By Sacco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
'Free So Free' isn't a great album. Its not exactly bad either, just kind of middling. J Mascis hasn't really created a great set of songs since 'Green Mind' or maybe 'Where You Been?' both with his band Dinosaur Jr. This set of song isn't really all the different from where he left off with that band of his last album as J Mascis & the Fog. Imagine Neil Young only more of a slacker and virtually none of the anger. Only that probably unfair to J as his own distinct personality is for better or worse stamped all over 'Free So Free'. He spins of some incredible solos left and right, not so much spectacular virtuosity as quirky bits of twisted flights of fancy (not that J isn't a brilliant guitarist, he is).

The best song and the only really great one is 'Everybody Let's Me Down' a song J should have (some might meanly say already did) write years ago during the grunge explosion when it probably would have been a massive hit. Elsewhere this is tired album, full of songs about relationships that are breaking of have broken down and about breaking out of the ruts in life whether it be depression or just old habits. If you're not a big Dinosaur Jr. fan then I probably wouldn't recommend it, and even if you are only get it if you're a completist or you prefer the later albums than band put out.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
first Mascis album with no epic singles 12 Oct. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Although I definitely think Mascis' musical output peaked with 1993's Where You Been, I have bought all his albums since then and, despite the decline in quality, never regretted doing so because there were always three or four songs that were so catchy, sweet, and warm. Not so here. Free So Free is a sonic continuation of everything from Without a Sound (glossier production, more economic solos and song lengths), but nothing here sticks in the brain or heart like earlier Mascis stuff. Closest the album comes is opener Freedom, which begins great but then goes nowhere and repeats itself too much. Everything else on here sounds like a paler version of better songs he's done before. If That's How It's Gotta Be is an acoustic ballad dwarfed by Not the Same (Where You Been) and Outta Hand (Without a Sound). Everybody Let Me Down is the singalong that tries and fails to match Freak Scene (Bug) and The Wagon (Green Mind). The rest resembles the glut of unremarkable tunes he's recorded on the last four LPs: overproduced 4-4 guitar clunkers with the same rhymes (feel, deal, feeling, ceiling, down, around), phone-in solos, and messy drum hyperactivity distracting the listener from whatever melody he gets going. Mascis needs to either retire, try writing completely different songs, or bring in a lot of people to add some kind of rub or contrast to this autopilot output he's been cranking out. The recurring references to "freedom"--and his label's claim they point to some kind of a "concept"--don't work at all. His lyrics are generically symbolic as always, minus the overuse of that word.
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