CD Stephen Malkmus (CD 1051570),
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1. Black Book
3. Jo Jo's Jacket
4. Church on White
5. Hook, The
6. Discretion Grove
8. Pink India
9. Trojan Curfew
10. Vague Space
11. Jenny and the Ess-Dog
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 444
Personnel includes: Stephen Malkmus (vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, bass); Joanna Bolme (piano, synthesizer, bass, claves, background vocals); John Moen (drums, percussion, background vocals); Heather Larimer (percussion, background vocals).
Recorded at Jackpot, Portland, Oregon, Supernatural, Future Rhythm Studios, San Jose, California between May and August 2000.
Personnel: Stephen Malkmus (vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer); John Moen (drums, percussion, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Jeff Saltzman.
Recording information: 05/2000-08/2000.
Pavement split at the end of the '90s, having pioneered the lo-fi approach and saved indie-rock from eating itself. Rising from the rubble, the band's singer/songwriter emerges with a solo debut that (surprise) bears a strong resemblance to none other than his erstwhile ensemble. Pavement had been getting progressively more sophisticated right up until its breakup, so this album finds Malkmus negotiating from a position of musical strength. All the elements that fans found attractive in his former band are here; quirky, mega-ironic lyrics that reference everything from Sarasota to Yul Brynner, eccentric, spastic rhythms, and perfect little guitar hooks.
On the lovely, affecting "Church on White," Malkmus momentarily drops the post-modernism, reaching for an earnest melodicism that is one of the album's major coups. But if you're hoping for a departure from the indie king's Pavement past, you'll find yourself in the strange position of being disappointed by a batch of infectious, well-written songs played with enthusiasm and skill.
Rolling Stone (3/1/01, p.51) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...His most playful, lighthearted tunes since WOWEE ZOWEE....mapping out his adult style of indie slop with casual grace..."
Entertainment Weekly (2/23/01, p.159) - "...Full of humor and energy....it's a welcome return to the giddy wit that had dimmed as Pavement tried to contort itself into a conventional rock band..." - Rating: A-
Q (3/01, p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Strangely engaging....as queer and entertaining as anything by his old band..."
Uncut (2/01, p.78) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...There's a fiendish brain at play throughout this captivating opus....Call it American psycho-beauty: a feast of Stephen..."
Alternative Press (3/01, p.76) - 4 out of 5 - "...Malkmus sounds like he's having more fun than he has in years....everything here is so enjoyable..."
CMJ (2/12/01, p.22) - "...Another bunch of great numbers that wouldn't have seemed out of place on TERROR TWILIGHT or BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS..."
Mojo (Publisher) (3/01, p.88) - "...The best songs have that rare power which picks up and carries along the happy Walkman listener, legs dangling...gravity-defying...above the ground..."
NME (Magazine) (12/29/01, p.59) - Ranked #21 in NME's 50 "Albums Of the Year 2001".
NME (Magazine) (2/10/01, p.32) - 8 out of 10 - "...His brightest, funniest, quite possibly best set of songs since 1994's outstanding CROOKED RAIN..."
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Matador (record label) 444
Alternative Dis. Alliance
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