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Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2003
Of all the Pavement albums, although all gems in their own right, 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' stands out as their most coherent and accessible set of songs. This album has a bit of everything and is perhaps the best record for those seeking an introduction to the genuis of Steve Malkmus & co. From the 'oooh, oooh, ooohs' and jangly guitars of 'Cut Your Hair' to the country rock of 'Range Life' with it's war of words against the Smashing Pumpkins there is always something to keep your ears interested. 'Goldsoundz' sees Malkmus at his best vocally with his hoarse tones gliding effortlessly over an airy guitar riff. Closing song, 'Fillmore Jive' sees Pavement at their most epic (or as close as Pavement get to epic!) with strung out blissful guitar solos and alternations between quiet and loud!
If you have yet to discover the joys of Pavement then 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' is undoubtedly a good starting point. Unlike most of the other Pavement releases the songs here are consistently good and there is no need to reach for the skip button on your CD player! This is not to say, other Pavement albums aren't good, quite the opposite. They are all outstanding and Pavement were certainly one of the most unfaltering and exciting bands of the 1990's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2011
Their debut was phenomenal and will always be the epitome of laid-back, alt-americana-inspired indie rock, but the follow up was no slouch either - despite sounding like one! Tonally it was slightly polished and leaned towards certain MOR sensibilities in places but the edge was still there and would not go either. And the tunes were also in abundance, thankfully, as well.

Opener, 'Silence Kit' is something of a classic. A great melody and played as lazily as possible, it sounds like the perfect segue between this and their debut. 'Elevate Me Later' is more of the same with another lazy riff that seems to have unending possibilities up the scale. Another winner. 'Stop Breathin' is one of the best 'slow' Pavement tracks. Sometimes they can err on the rather mundane side but this just nestles in and curls round your eardrums like musical candyfloss. 'Cut Your Hair' is more upbeat and a good, fun track. 'Newark Wilder' is back to the lacadaisical but in a southern USA kind of a way, with a heatwave swagger and slide-guitar-like distortion. 'Unfair' is another passionate tirade with some excellent lyrics from Malkmus.

'Goldsoundz' took a while to like. At first it seems boring and uninteresting but the more you play it the better and breezier it becomes. A near classic. '5-4=Unity' is a nice mellow 2 minutes of jazzy breaks and sublime bridges. And 'Range Life' is 'Range Life'. It's THE classic. For an alternative, angular-sounding indie band this sort of track should not work. It's conventional to the letter. But it's a stunningly beautiful song. 'Major Leagues' from Terror Twilight comes close in terms of tone. 'Heaven is a Truck' is an ok track without being great. 'Hit the Plane Down' has a mantra-like chorus and is rather likable but it's the kind of track that seemed to be round the corner every 5 minutes on Wowee Zowee. 'Filmore Jive' goes on too long and is not interesting enough to really stick with.

A few minor points aside it is one of their best albums, possibly even second to Slanted?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2002
Of their five albums this is the one that perhaps sonds most like Pavement. So many others tried to reconstuct their sound that their identity as a band become somewhat confused and self-parodying by the time the last two albums were released. Here,though, they sound completely fresh and confident, rather than self-conscious. Melodious three minute pop singles such as the seminal "Cut Your Hair" are balanced by experimental soundscapes like "Hit the Plane Down" and closer, "Filmlore Jive". Accordingly, the band's strongest and most charming characteristics from the rest of thier work is successfully condensed down on to one cd. And, as if this wasn't enough, the album includes arguably their best song - the Smashing Pumpkin and Stone Temple Pilot namechecking "Range Life". This and several other moments on this album - notably "Gold Sounds"- evidence the suspicion that Pavement were one of the very best bands of the last decade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2000
Every song here is amazing, from the opening track Silence Kit through to Cut Your Hair (by far one of their best songs from any album) to Gold Soundz and the final Fillmere Jive. It might take a few listens, but it will eat into you mind and soon you will be humming these impossibly catchy songs non stop.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2002
this album combines lovely emotive tunes like gold soundz, sing-along anthems like Silence Kit and cut your hair, and yet as any Pavement will know, their lyrics/themes, and some of the tunes, are still completely bonkers-in-the-nut! Masterpiece album. Much better in my opinion than wowee zowee and terror twilight. One of my all time favourite albums!
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on 9 April 2010
A "Pretzel Logic" for the '90s: a concept album about disillusionment, despair & defeat - as Greil Marcus said about that Steely Dan album, "the only concessions to pleasure are to jazz, to the past." Which is to say it's the story of how the "Daydream Nation" tried & failed in "the city we forgot to name". "No survivors" indeed.
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on 22 September 2000
This album comes from the highpoint in Pavement's history. It contains the trademark Pavement quirkyness and great lyrics but in a form that's acceptable to a wide audience without being mainstream. Possibly only bettered by Wowee Zowee.
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on 27 January 2014
I have only just discovered Pavement. I cannot believe it's taken this long for me to realise what a fantastic band they were. A definitive band of the 90's and beyond.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2013
Was getting back into Pavement - a band from way back that have their own way of making indie rock music.
Coming off the back of Slanted and Enchanted I was very disappointed with this.
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