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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A career highlight for the former Slint man, 6 July 2006
J. W. Bassett (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 1968 (Audio CD)
Despite (or perhaps because of) recording under more monikers than Will Oldham and having been a figurehead in underground music for at least two decades, David Pajo remains remarkably elusive. We do know that he was born in 1968 (hence this album's title), that he's recorded with Will Oldham, Billy Corgan, Royal Trux, Stereolab and was part of Slint when they created their landmark album, Spiderland, and that he was also a principal member of Tortoise and The For Carnation.

With last year's Slint reunion an unmitigated success, Pajo has once again forgone his M/Papa M/Aerial M/Thirteenth Letter confusion in favour of just Pajo. 1968 is the second album recorded under this name and instead of shrouding himself in the willful obscurity that marked many of his earlier records, Pajo is, once again, far more confessional on an album that shares his name.

All but one song on 1968 features drums and bass, whereas most of the previous album found Pajo alone with his acoustic guitar. Despite the extra instrumentation, 1968 is still decidedly honest and frank. His trembling timbre on Who's That Knocking sets a brittle tone, while the livelier tempo of Foolish King belies a dark centre ("my foolishness has lifted me far beyond man").

Later, We Get Along, Mostly is a superior indie-rock number that finds Pajo striking a balance between Elliott Smith's depressive sparsity and Simon & Garfunkel's airy lilt, Wrong Turn offers mild Magnetic Fields-style electronica and Cyclone Eye is backed by gentle, unobtrusive strings before the album closes out with the stirring, confessional I've Just Restored My Will To Live Again.

For someone whose earlier efforts with Slint forged a reputation deconstructing melody, 1968 has David Pajo in surprisingly winsome form.
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1968 by Pajo (Audio CD - 2006)
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