15 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dinosaur Jr. bassist Lou Barlow found his own voice with Sebadoh in the late '80s and early '90s, emerging as a surprisingly good brokenhearted balladeer. Considering the noise level of Dino Jr. songs, it was a shock to hear Barlow bear his heart in such open and honest ways. Years later, Sebadoh has reemerged with Defend Yourself, an album that's better defined than many of its earlier, looser works. Barlow handles most of the songs, with Jason Loewenstein his only foil. (Eric Gaffney and Bob Fay weren’t brought back.) The breakup of Barlow’s 25-year marriage has surely added some psychic weight, and songs like “Love You Here,” “State of Mine,” “Listen," and “Let It Out” ache with earnest pop melodies. The buzzing electricity of “Beat,” “Defend Yr. Self,” “Final Days,” “Separate," and the bizarre cowpunk of “Inquiries” fill out the expectations for what makes an exceptional Sebadoh album.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dinosaur Jr. bassist Lou Barlow found his own voice with Sebadoh in the late '80s and early '90s, emerging as a surprisingly good brokenhearted balladeer. Considering the noise level of Dino Jr. songs, it was a shock to hear Barlow bear his heart in such open and honest ways. Years later, Sebadoh has reemerged with Defend Yourself, an album that's better defined than many of its earlier, looser works. Barlow handles most of the songs, with Jason Loewenstein his only foil. (Eric Gaffney and Bob Fay weren’t brought back.) The breakup of Barlow’s 25-year marriage has surely added some psychic weight, and songs like “Love You Here,” “State of Mine,” “Listen," and “Let It Out” ache with earnest pop melodies. The buzzing electricity of “Beat,” “Defend Yr. Self,” “Final Days,” “Separate," and the bizarre cowpunk of “Inquiries” fill out the expectations for what makes an exceptional Sebadoh album.

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