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Old 03-21-2009, 10:17 AM   #26 (permalink)
marquee moon
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 764

Brighten The Corners [Matador; 1997]

The pattern so far: Pavementís second album sounded nothing like their debut, and their third album sounded nothing like their second album, instead sharing the same philosophy and energy as their debut. Brighten The Corners, Pavementís most underrated album, once again skips influences to sound as refined as their second album, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain as opposed to its predecessor, Wowee Zowee. This makes the album more accessible, but less dense than Slanted & Enchanted and Wowee Zowee.

The reason why itís so underrated is due to its derivative approach and mostly predictable moments. I say mostly because nobody will see some of the albumís jokes coming, especially in album opener ďStereo,Ē hands down Pavementís most hilarious track, ever. But while Wowee Zowee would consistently keep a smile on your face, slowly unravelling its madness as the years go by, the fun moments in Brighten The Corners are few and far between and insubstantial, making for a very funny first few listens but it just doesnít hold a candle of longetivity.

Anyways, hereís why I think itís an underrated album: despite its generally derivative nature, the album is filled with hooks and singable verses the same way Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was, albeit more prominently, but unlike CR, CR, Brighten the Corners is much, much more cohesive, making for an easier listen-through.

It doesnít have the lasting appeal that Wowee Zowee has, nor does it have the immediate hooks that Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain has, and it doesnít sound like Slanted & Enchanted both in terms of production and attitude, so Brighten The Corners sits comfortably in a grey area, allowing the listener to shape-shift it to their liking, thinking whatever they of from it. If it I was a kid in high school it would be a subtly hilarious but mostly shy freshman that is just too nice to fight back the school bullies. Itís a sweet album, but it gets lost within Pavementís more confident musical statements.

prev. score: 9.2/10

Last edited by Roygbiv; 03-22-2009 at 11:07 PM.
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