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J Masicis has long been known as a courageous artist. As front man for Dinosaur Jr he’s responsible for some of the most raucous melodies in alternative rock. It’s equally courageous that, as a solo artist he is the polar opposite. "Tied To A Star" is his second mostly acoustic solo album in a row and improves nicely on his last with more emphasis on his singing and virtuoso acoustic guitar work.

That improvement might come from the fact that he provides most of the instrumentation himself with a few exceptions on piano and a second guitar. On one of the best tracks he’s joined by Chan Marshall of Cat Power on vocals.

His vocals seem to be improving as he has learned to rely less on a cacophony of sound behind him to mask it. And his guitar playing without the fuzz tone and feedback is even more impressive. It’s deeply resonating and richly imaginative.

J Mascis has undertaken acoustic tours and has released solo albums with a softer side to them before but "Tied To A Star" sounds much more focused, he sounds more ready to take on this far different identity while maintaining his courageousness.

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