Hmm. To start, a general introduction. Stephen Malkmus is the ex-frontman of what are undoubtedly one of the best and most hideously underrated bands of the 90s, Pavement. This, his second full-length 'solo' record - the term being used loosely, as he in fact has a whole band, The Jicks - was eagerly expected by me, one of Pavement's greatest fans, and admirer of his first eponymous solo effort. Unfortunately, it really isn't all that great. Don't get me wrong, it isn't bad, I've given it 3 stars and I think that signifies a good record, but it just give me what I wanted from it. I really wanted a continuation of Pavement in Malkmus' solo records, and in his first I felt I more or less got that, some good tunes, with catchy melodies and typical of later Pavement, zany Malkmus lyrics. And I enjoyed it. With this, I was expecting a similar thing, but it just doesn't quite live up, not to his first, and certainly not to Pavement. Perhaps I was unfair in my expectations.
All that said, there are some good songs on here though. 'Us' is probably my favourite, and 'Animal Midnight' is good too, strange Chas-and-Dave-esque middle section forgiven. But songs like '1% of one' are just too self-indulgent for my liking, and at 9 minutes, far too long. Oddly enough, the bonus disc I got with my copy contains the fantastic 'Fractions and Feelings' which I really can't seem to work out why is not on the album proper.
The bottom line is, this album is okay, it's fine, it's a nice listen, and an enjoyable one, but if I try to put it in order with my Pavement albums it probably comes out last - which is a shame. I think I am making it sound worse than it is, but that is only because I liked Pavement so much and this is not quite as good. But I would still recommend you get it.