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Old 03-17-2009, 06:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had nothing better to do. I didn't see why I should wait till tomorrow : P
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain [Matador; 1994]



Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain sounds nothing like its predecessor, Slanted & Enchanted. That’s mostly due the band losing drummer Gary Young and his run down studio, losing with it all their lo-fi sound. It was also the time when Stephen Malkmus decided he wasn’t punk enough to write punk songs and started writing rock songs instead. But though it would have made sense to release a half-assed successor to their iconic debut and promptly call it quits, Pavement isn’t a band that makes sense. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was released in 1994 to higher critical acclaim and sales, solidifying Pavement as a key inductee into the pantheon of 90s greats.

The biggest hint of Pavement’s sound prior to CR, CR is the album’s first single, “Cut Your Hair,” which, by gathering the energy and jangle of their previous outing all the while refining their sound, is their most accessible song. Fortunately, there are more moments like these all over Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. The opening “Silence Kid” (also known accidentally as Silence Kit) is promptly accompanied by an inconspicuous cowbell, proving that refinement doesn’t have to mean losing your sense of fun. Malkmus’ trademark wordplay would be seriously considered part of the Pavement “attitude” heretofore, making songs like the aforementioned Cut Your Hair and Gold Soundz exactly what they’re supposed to be: perfectly crafted fun. There are no lyrics that the listener has to worry about holding on to or otherwise discovering . Pavement’s music is all about timing – when to insert which line and chorus - a fact that’s fitting for the louder, more energetic songs, but can be infuriating with slower jams like Stop Breathin’ and many more to come later on in their discography.

As it stands, CR, CR feels more like a collection of hits rather than a cohesive statement, making it easier for the iPod generation to pick and choose between the obviously weaker tracks present. That doesn’t mean that the album doesn’t provide a worthwhile listen-through, however. CR, CR is a definitive album in a definitive 90s band’s discography.

9.5/10

Last edited by Roygbiv; 03-20-2009 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Slanted and Enhanced is probably their most praised album, and one of my favorites. A lot of people didn't like Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain because I think they believe it was too different from Slanted and Enhanced and they did lose a lot of their lo-fi sound. However, when I think of these two albums I chose not to compare them to each other like I believe so many people do, and respect them both in different ways. I'm happy you talked about "cut your hair" that being my favorite song on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, but I don't really know how I feel about it that musically and how much musical merit that song actually has. What is your opinion?

I look forward to what you are going to say about terror twilight.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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"Cut Your Hair" is a fun song to listen to and a perfect song to introduce your friends to. No matter how great Pavement were they wouldn't have a definitive hit if it weren't for "Cut Your Hair," and as a song that blends the past with their sound at the time it's not just a throwaway hit, either, so I like it. I love it, I think it's necessary.

That's my thought on Cut Your Hair.

I have plenty of good things lined up for Terror Twilight. Hold on tight : )
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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good call on CR, especially the last paragraph. Wowee Zowee lived up to the debut's promise most IMO, i have no more opinions on Pavement for now lol

I think credence should be paid to the way they have handled the reissues of their albums as well, I think they are up to Terror Twilight now... you get a fat booklet of art (you know, Malkmus ripping off early Fall album covers), interviews and self-congratulatory Malky liner notes and sh*t ... plus a second disc with Peel Sessions/b-sides/live/outtakes etc... actually the extra disc of Crooked Rain is probably better than the album

edit: i don't work for matador
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I have plenty of good things lined up for Terror Twilight. Hold on tight : )
Keyword is good I'm hoping. That album gets a lot of flack, but it's still a great listen.

Edit: I love the reissues Molecules! It fills the gaps in my Pavement collection quite nicely.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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When i got the reissues of Wowee Zowee and Slanted and Enchanted i almost didn't open the packaging because they looked too nice. I did though and the extra discs are great, especially for Slanted.

Wowee Zowee is my fave, due to it's length and and the fact its all over the place i just can't get bored of it. Also has their undisputably best song, Grounded. Followed by Flux=Rad, which is just mad.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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When i got the reissues of Wowee Zowee and Slanted and Enchanted i almost didn't open the packaging because they looked too nice. I did though and the extra discs are great, especially for Slanted.

Wowee Zowee is my fave, due to it's length and and the fact its all over the place i just can't get bored of it. Also has their undisputably best song, Grounded. Followed by Flux=Rad, which is just mad.
great minds think alike Although the reissue of Wowee still eludes me *insert pic of baby clenching fist here*

I don't know about everyone else but I can see this band reforming to play 'Slanted...' in it's entirety at All Tomorrow's Parties at some point. It's just a statistical certainty.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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great minds think alike Although the reissue of Wowee still eludes me *insert pic of baby clenching fist here*

I don't know about everyone else but I can see this band reforming to play 'Slanted...' in it's entirety at All Tomorrow's Parties at some point. It's just a statistical certainty.
I do hope so. That album is epic great. Also, I agree with molly about the extra tracks of Wowee It's my fave pavement album so I've only bought Wowee's reissue so far, but I'll judge once I've listened to all the reissued stuffs.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wowee Zowee [Matador; 1995]


Pavement’s most challenged, ambitious, hilarious, and worthwhile album reflects the band’s past antics while hinting at their future sound, the spawn of which are 18 eccentric tracks and the band’s absolute musical pinnacle. They will never write anything wilder and weirder than Wowee Zowee.

A number of great things happened whilst recording Wowee Zowee: Stephen Malkmus aged and decided it was time to be spontaneous, trading an immediate musical follow-up to their successful Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain with something “less bass heavy, compared to CR, CR, for the sake of variety” (Malkmus himself). The result iss one of the best guitar albums of the 90s – no kidding. Songs like “Rattled By The Rush,” “Grounded” and “AT & T” have some of the most perfect licks of the era, while grungier, punkier numbers “Serpentine Pad” and “Flux = Rad” exemplify the power of a bone crunching guitar. In between you have sombre tracks “We Dance,” “Black Out,” and “Motion Suggests Itself” – altogether you get a pretty random playlist of tracks, and a first listen could be frustrating.

Its seeming randomness is why some fans and critics discarded the album, but those fans weren’t listening closely. The song progression is, in fact, perfect for this reason: Every track carries the weight of the former and the following, building momentum. They play off each-other, making for a much more engaging listen. That’s the reason why Wowee Zowee is their best album, because it exemplifies everything that Pavement was at the time and what they would sound like afterward. It does so with some excellent pacing, plenty of eccentricity and hilarity that make for an engaging experience.

As for the outtakes and EP tracks released with the reissue, it's an interesting listen. You can see just how wrong everything could have gone if the band had not revised the song progression over and over again. It's amazing to see how disastrous Wowee Zowee could have turned out, and how volatile - and thus exciting - the album really is.

10/10
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