Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Continuing with my year end list...

#9: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Pig Lib

Most Pavement albums included two or three catchy, hook-laden songs, a handful of solid, if not inspiring, indie-rock songs, and a few throw-aways. An inconsistent formula, but one that worked well, as their best songs often grabbed your attention long enough for you to overlook the sometimes mediocre material.

Former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus’ second solo album is the most consistent record he’s made, with the possible exception of Slanted & Enchanted. While the only song that measures up to some of Pavement’s infectious indie-pop numbers is “(Do Not Feed the) Oyster”, there is also not a single throw-away to be found. The material is strong from the opening “Water & a Seat” to the closing “Us”. Highlights include the aforementioned “(Do Not Feed the) Oyster”, “Sheets”, “1% of One” and “Witch Mountain Bridge”, which includes a mid-song slow jam somewhat reminiscent of “Down by the River”. In fact, for me, Malkmus’ guitar playing on this album occasionally helped to fill a Neil Young & Crazy Horse void that had been empty since 1996’s Broken Arrow. That is until…well, we’ll get to that later.

No comments:

Post a Comment