Beyond - Dinosaur Jr.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Beyond isn't merely a worthy album from a reunited band, it's simply a great record by any standard.
  2. That the music of Beyond rocks so righteously in a way that sounds like a conscious progression from where they left off with Bug, rather than a misguided attempt to recreate the past, makes this unlikely recording comeback all the more incredible.
  3. As usual, Mascis' guitar--a stirring strength, charming and expressive, a poignant power, is the star of this show--and as a whole unit, they haven’t sounded this good in about sixteen years.
  4. Beyond, the band's first record as the selfsame trio since 1988's Bug, benefits enormously-- more so even than fellow MA-veterans Mission of Burma or latter-day Sonic Youth-- from the years, experiences, successes, and disappointments elapsed between then and now.
  5. 84
    Their most triumphant mix of fuzzed-out fury, face-melting fretwork and merry-but-messy melodies.
  6. Though too long at 50 minutes, Beyond is an often thrilling reminder of this essential band's heyday.
  7. Despite Beyond’s tendency to feel like a career retrospective in spots, it contains plenty of songs that rival Mascis’s best work.
  8. This is an album that sits well alongside classics such as 1987's 'You're Living All Over Me'. In other words: a genuine monster.
  9. Essentially the real joy is to hear the three original members locking in so tightly together.
  10. 80
    Beyond is the better-produced natural successor to 1987's epochal You're Living All Over Me. [May 2007, p.104]
  11. 80
    Beyond doesn't break any new ground, but... it's as refreshing as anything you're likely to hear all year. [May 2007, p.93]
  12. Mascis' ear-bleeding guitar soloing is ever prevalent, but there's a dynamism in the music here that was missing in previous efforts.
  13. It's in between the showboating, when Mascis demonstrates his folk and country-tinged melodies and subtle but elaborate leads that you realize what you're listening to is pretty fucking close to genius.
  14. These 50 minutes of music are as cohesive as they are conquering.
  15. Amazingly, "Beyond" picks up where 1988's "Bug" left off, with only slightly more streamlined polish but with the old love of volume and excess still sweetly intact.
  16. It’s great to hear, on Beyond, that the group can capture that magic again.
  17. What’s most remarkable about the record is its incredible level of musical cohesion – it’s like the trio never stopped playing together.
  18. With a sound closer to the Sire output than their SST days, Mascis throws around his best set of songs since Where You Been. [#17, p.84]
  19. Rabid Dinosaur Jr fans will find plenty here to enjoy.
  20. 70
    The elliptical vein opening, restless country twang and surging metal riffage have never sounded more confident. [Jun 2007, p.107]
  21. 70
    Even the production on Beyond sounds plucked from the trio's Bug heyday. [May 2007, p.85]
  22. There is something almost eerie about how exactly the Dinosaur Jr of 2007 sound like the Dinosaur Jr of 1988.
  23. Coming in 2007 it sounds oddly fresh, but nothing here’s as full-on as their early stuff or as lovely as Feel The Pain.
  24. It sounds exactly like a Dinosaur Jr album should.
  25. Beyond’s main flaws come in a lack of variety.
  26. The spiraling, distortion-drenched guitar solos, the cracked and ruined moan of Mascis, the passive-aggressive romanticism, the relentless beat, the pedals, the sheer turbulent's just like Where You Been? all over again, with all the positives and negatives that the comparison implies.
  27. Beyond's highlights not only stand comfortably with Dinosaur's legendary best, but they also sound like they could have been lost outtakes from the very same sessions.
  28. Apparently evolution is overrated.
  29. There isn't a bad song on Beyond—though both of Barlow's contributions slow things down a bit—but it never reaches the transcendent, wailing energy of Mascis' best.
  30. The spark that made initial albums such as Bug so special is still missing. [May 2007, p.123]

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