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Superpowerless , 5/10
I Can Hear Music , 5/10
A Plea For Tenderness , 5/10
That Skinny Motherfucker With The High Voice? , 4/10
A Grown-Ass Man (2003), 5/10

James McNew (who plays bass in Yo La Tengo) has a home-recording project called Dump, for which he turns into an experimental multi-instrumentalist and operatic singer. Superpowerless and Good Medicine are the gems on Superpowerless (Brinkman, 1993), an album that still mainly emphasizes the covers. Dump is a diligent follow-up to the tradition of Clean and Tall Dwarfs, but lacks a sense of purpose.

The 12-minute single International Airport (Smells Like, 1995) is his first masterpiece, a sound collage that is as madly inventive as Fugs' Virgin Forest.

McNew is obviously wasting a major talent on I Can Hear Music (Brinkman, 1995), a collection of more regular songs that continues the first album's project of covering the classics and spends too little time elaborating his own ideas (It's Not Alright).

The single Phantom Perspective (Hi-Ball, 1997) is another keeper, a tribute of sorts to Sun Ra's space-jazz.

Still not confident enough and still self-indulgent, McNew delivered A Plea For Tenderness (Brinkman, 1998), another set of covers and originals (So Long) that testify of his eclectic taste but don't do completely justice to it.

That Skinny Motherfucker With The High Voice? (Shrimper, 1999) is even devoted to Prince songs.

Yo La Tengo's bassist James McNew is Dump, a lo-fi pop project who graduated to professional production with his fifth album, A Grown-Ass Man (Shrimper, 2003).

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