Top critical review
Pavement's final hurrah
on 10 November 2010
I was a longtime Pavement fan, right from the first album, I saw them play many many times in the uk and bought their albums as they emerged. But - for some reason - their final release passed me by. Over a decade later I picked it up online... so how has time treated it?
The main difference with their other releases is the intervention of producer Nigel Godrich, when I believe everything else was largely produced & mixed by Malkmus himself. The sound is subtly muted, less spiky, more polished even? And the vocals are buried a little further into the mix. This is a shame in my view, since it results in a more generic "alt rock" sound rather than the spin-on-a-dime twisted shapes of Pavement's finest moments. A few tracks stand out:Spit on a Stranger, Billie & Carrot Rope. But for the most part this is one for completists only. Go for Crooked Rain Crooked Rain or even Brighten The Corners (which I have learned to love a lot) instead.
Even better:Steve Malkmus's solo albums, where the pastoral & lyrical elements of Pavement's sound finally emerge into the sunlight.