Bouncing back from the staid Without a Sound, J Mascis turns in his most eclectic album since Green Mind with Dinosaur Jr.’s Hand It Over. Dinosaur’s bedrock sound hasn’t changed — it’s still a sprawling, electric mess of hard rock filtered through folk-rock song structures — but Mascis plays with the arrangements, adding strings, trumpets, and on a handful of tracks, My Bloody Valentine’s slippery guitar orchestrations and vocals (Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher both sing on the album). These additions make the music sound fresh, but they would only be window dressing if Mascis’ songs weren’t as strong as they are. Again, his progressions are subtle, but songs like “I Don’t Think,” “Nothin’s Goin’ On,” “Can’t We Move This,” and “Sure Not Over You” are fine additions to his catalog, and help make Hand It Over one of Dinosaur Jr.’s most consistent and best records.

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine,