Lou Barlow, 'Goodnight Unknown' (Merge)

6
Goodnight Unknown
Critical Mass
Label: Merge

by Josh Modell

Is Lou Barlow leading a three-pronged early-'90s indie-rock resurgence? He's back (and kicking ass) with the classic Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh lineups, but as was the case back then, his muse needs constant attention. Give him points for meticulously crafting his second "official" solo album: It feels much more cohesive and clean than anything the impetuous, release-everything Barlow of yore would've done, with sweet simplicity (the Nick Drake–like "The One I Call") rubbing shoulders with slightly slinkier, more rocking tracks like "The Right," which recalls yet another Barlow band, Folk Implosion. Maybe that reunion's next.

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