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4.0 out of 5 stars Facing truth, 7 Mar. 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Stephen Malkmus is still primarily known as the singer/writer from Pavement, and he'll probably have that tag stuck to him for a very long time. But since the legendary indierock band broke up in 1999, Malkmus has been producing magnificently quirky indierock of his own.

"Face the Truth" is his third solo album, and it's a good one -- Malkmus takes his insane writing and sonic flourishes, and adds a very catchy rhythm to them. It's without a doubt his weirdest collection yet, and probably the first to experiment so much with electronic blips and buzzes. It has some weak moments, but it's not something to be forgotten soon.

The new sound becomes obvious in the first seconds of "Pencil Rot," an angular, herky-jerky eruption of synth, drum machines, and a guy he calls Leather McWhipp. That sound gives way to Malkmus' moaning voice and solid guitars, still tangled up in the looming synth. That chaotic edge seeps into other, more organic songs.

But Malkmus falls back into slow-burning indierock in most of the remaining songs, like "It Kills," which sounds like a Pavement B-side, as well as discoesque rock, Beatlesque pop music, and urgent rootsy rock. In these, synth takes a backseat to the quirky indierock sound that Malkmus has been doing for years.

Stephen Malkmus has made a living of sounding kind of depressed. But in "Face the Truth," he sounds like he's gotten some enthusiasm back -- even when singing in a despairing falsetto, he sounds more gung ho. In fact, as good as his previous solo work has been, he hasn't sounded this earnest since the early days of Pavement.

Musically, it's a bit different. Many of the songs bring older Malkmus and Pavement work to mind, until one listens to some of the weirder songs. Malkmus sounds like he's just discovering synth, and seems a bit excited about it. Some of his synthwork is downright clumsy; in the final song, he inserts a chaotic burst of it, adding a chaotic note to an otherwise lovely song.

However, he uses it in earnest, and has a good idea of how to weave it in with his undulating guitar licks. But at heart, "Face the Truth" is all about the guitars -- undulating, strumming and fuzzing. With this melting pot of styles and music, the lyrics about villains in his brain and bizarre families don't seem quite as weird as they normally would.

Stephen Malkmus' third solo album has some flawed use of synth. But listen it to hear Malkmus sounding refreshed and renewed, and some truly entertaining guitar indierock.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best work yet, 4 Oct. 2006
By 
Paul Thompson (newcastle upon tyne) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Face The Truth (Audio CD)
One if not the best Malkmus works of date .This album blew me away the talented git.Buy it its a classic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars face the truth, 2 May 2013
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This review is from: Face The Truth (Audio CD)
If yer a fan of pavement then this is for you. Its Steve Malkmus doing what he does best writing great songs that keep yer listening and playing it again and again
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4.0 out of 5 stars growing old gracefully..., 20 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Face the Truth (MP3 Download)
Some of the ex-Pavement's front man's best tunes here. Only two songs fall off the otherwise exceptionally high standard of classic indie-pop-rock, or whatever you want to label Malkmus's mid-tempo melodic hook-laden fare... phew! I'm off for another listen.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous Malkmus, 22 July 2005
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Face The Truth (Audio CD)
Stephen Malkmus is still primarily known as the singer/writer from Pavement, and he'll probably have that tag stuck to him for a very long time. But since the legendary indierock band broke up in 1999, Malkmus has been producing magnificently quirky indierock of his own.

"Face the Truth" is his third solo album, and it's a good one -- Malkmus takes his insane writing and sonic flourishes, and adds a very catchy rhythm to them. It's without a doubt his weirdest collection yet, and probably the first to experiment so much with electronic blips and buzzes. It has some weak moments, but it's not something to be forgotten soon.

The new sound becomes obvious in the first seconds of "Pencil Rot," an angular, herky-jerky eruption of synth, drum machines, and a guy he calls Leather McWhipp. That sound gives way to Malkmus' moaning voice and solid guitars, still tangled up in the looming synth. That chaotic edge seeps into other, more organic songs.

But Malkmus falls back into slow-burning indierock in most of the remaining songs, like "It Kills," which sounds like a Pavement B-side, as well as discoesque rock, Beatlesque pop music, and urgent rootsy rock. In these, synth takes a backseat to the quirky indierock sound that Malkmus has been doing for years.

Stephen Malkmus has made a living of sounding kind of depressed. But in "Face the Truth," he sounds like he's gotten some enthusiasm back -- even when singing in a despairing falsetto, he sounds more gung ho. In fact, as good as his previous solo work has been, he hasn't sounded this earnest since the early days of Pavement.

Musically, it's a bit different. Many of the songs bring older Malkmus and Pavement work to mind, until one listens to some of the weirder songs. Malkmus sounds like he's just discovering synth, and seems a bit excited about it. Some of his synthwork is downright clumsy; in the final song, he inserts a chaotic burst of it, adding a chaotic note to an otherwise lovely song.

However, he uses it in earnest, and has a good idea of how to weave it in with his undulating guitar licks. But at heart, "Face the Truth" is all about the guitars -- undulating, strumming and fuzzing. With this melting pot of styles and music, the lyrics about villains in his brain and bizarre families don't seem quite as weird as they normally would.

Stephen Malkmus' third solo album has some flawed use of synth. But listen it to hear Malkmus sounding refreshed and renewed, and some truly entertaining guitar indierock.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Malkmus, 27 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Face the Truth (Audio CD)
Brought the first two solo works and though id give this a play, same kind of theme just more of the same
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Face The Truth
Face The Truth by Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks (Audio CD - 2005)
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