Sweep It Into Space

Sweep It Into Space

In a promo video for Dinosaur Jr.’s 2016 LP Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, singer-songwriter Kurt Vile offered a hearty endorsement as he listened to the album for the very first time: “Riffs, sad lyrics—that’s my Dino,” he said, his daughter seated beside him and his speakers blaring. “That’s the Dino I like.” Five years later, Vile’s formally entered the fray as a co-producer on Sweep It Into Space, a follow-up that further reinforces the notion that the legendary indie rock outfit is the rare band to actually improve since reuniting, as they did upon restoring their original lineup in 2005. You can hear touches of Vile’s influence on the off-kilter, piano-driven pop of “Take It Back,” as well as in the bittersweet chimes of first single “I Ran Away,” which sounds like a clear (yet distinctly fuzzy) descendent of Jackson Browne’s 1977 classic “Running on Empty.” But by design, Dino’s 12th full-length delivers and continues to refine exactly what Vile has come to love and anyone who’s paid attention for the last four decades might expect: wave upon strangely comforting wave of J Mascis’ supernatural guitar work (“To Be Waiting”) and natural melancholy (“I Ain’t,” which features loopy backing vocals from Vile), plus a Lou Barlow-penned highlight that ranks among his best (“Garden”).

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