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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jicks get better
As an avid fan of SM's music, this CD was a must buy. And it did not dissapoint. A few of the tracks are not classics, but the tracks that are good, are really, really good! Anaimal Midnight is sublime, Vanessa from Queens is a beautifully written piece of work, the Craw Song is a classic!
I was also suprised how good the first three tracks on the bonus disc were...
Published on 10 April 2003 by Murgs78

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really want to like this album...
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...
Published on 21 Mar 2003 by thecabinetscom


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jicks get better, 10 April 2003
As an avid fan of SM's music, this CD was a must buy. And it did not dissapoint. A few of the tracks are not classics, but the tracks that are good, are really, really good! Anaimal Midnight is sublime, Vanessa from Queens is a beautifully written piece of work, the Craw Song is a classic!
I was also suprised how good the first three tracks on the bonus disc were. Perhaps they should have been on the actual album rather than on a bonus cd!
All in all its a superb album, and anyone who wants to listen to how music should be played, then buy this album and marvel at the songwriting ability of a genius!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What will he do next?, 30 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Pig Lib (Audio CD)
Many feel that the quality of Malkmus’ work has been continually falling since Slanted and Enchanted. Personally, I appreciate the additional polish, production values, and most of all the excellent guitar work. The end results are sumptuous. It's difficult to see how Malkmus can improve on this. Possibly he will introduce electronic elements, some can be heard in the background here, and that will be the end of the line for the Pavement faithful. Me, I can't wait for the next instalment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really want to like this album..., 21 Mar 2003
This review is from: Pig Lib (Audio CD)
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult but worth every penny, 7 April 2003
This review is from: Pig Lib (Audio CD)
Like Stephen Malkmus's last album and his previous work with Pavement this latest offering rewards repeated listening. While not quite as stunningly beautiful as the eponymous debut album, "Pig Lib" is full of Stephens trademark off the wall lyrics and odd time signatures. Stand out tracks include "Vanessa from Queens", "Watch Mountain Bridge" and "Craw song". The Jicks ability to change track mid song is truly astonishing. Some of the tracks sound like what Pavement might have sounded today (especially "1% of One"). A must for any Pavement/Malkmus fans out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising return to form, 31 Mar 2003
By 
Mr. Paul J. Bradshaw (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Malkmus has never made a duff album - but as a solo artist and as part of Pavement his last three (Brighten The Corners, Terror Twilight and Stephen Malkmus) have sometimes disappointed high expectations.
So it's something of a shock to find that, entering those normally Middle Of The Road years of an artist's career, Malkmus has produced a gem that harks back to the unpredictability of early Pavement albums.
Pig Lib is an album with real spark - very much influenced by Captain Beefheart and Zappa, with stop-start rhythms, hooky riffs and a number of occasions where the band explore a melody, Television-style. This creates both occasions where you joyfully sing along, and sublime hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck moments. If Malkmus can release an album this good (the guitar playing in particular is amazing at times), this late on in his career, perhaps we haven't seen the best of him yet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars another winner, 23 Dec 2008
This review is from: Pig Lib (Audio CD)
It's another winner from Malkmus. Frankly he is establishing himself more and more firmly in my 'all time favourite guitar player' rankings.

True enough, Pig Lib has less of a poppy vibe than his first solo outing, and less of a discordant aesthetic than his Pavement work, but it's a logical and satisfying progression that does indeed reward repeated listening. Pig Lib is upbeat and almost endlessly inventive. Lyrically Malkmus isn't showing quite so much wit and irresistable wordplay, but there are still some examples. It's musically though where this record comes into it's own.

"Water And A Seat" prepares you for the worst as the first track which disorients the listener with it's bizarre time signature changes, but if you stick with it it just sounds normal after a while.

The rest of the album isn't quite so out there, but it does showcase some excellent, tight musicianship. Malkmus takes the lead on some magnificent guitar duels - particularly on "1% of 1" - and the Jicks back him up ably with dancing bass and drums and some well considered keyboards and synths.

In all this record presents a kind of rock n' roll that we can all be optimistic about. That Malkmus has been given the freedom to make this kind of music, and that people are listening to it and enjoying it shows that eclecticism does still exist in modern music. I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I'm putting my money on a long career for Malkmus, one that sees him ranking alongside Neil Young and Bob Dylan in terms of influence and longevity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Big Pil, 26 Mar 2003
This review is from: Pig Lib (Audio CD)
After the precise pop ditties of his debut, this is the sound of Malkmus hanging loose. Genetically modified sheen has been replaced by seemingly ramshackle compositions. A lot of Pavement work always had the air of spontaneity, but this record sometimes sounds like it was cobbled together in five minutes. This, as it turns out, is a good thing. Sloppy stoner rock has never sounded so good.
It's an album that wears its influences proudly on its sleeve. An odyssey exploring avenues of the more cerebral American rock acts, Pig Lib manages to embrace both prog rock and weirdo pop. So 'Vanessa From Queens' is Steely Dan at their most jaunty, while 'Dark Wave' is a gnarly Todd Rundgren. And it's a treat to find that the extended axe noodlings on at least three of the tracks emphatically mirror Television triumphs. But it's the centre piece, 'Animal Midnight', that raises the stakes on this riveting album; hook-laden, acid-rocking, strangely touching. It is one of the finest tracks of Steve's career.
The Jicks don't contain any of the lustre of Malkmus' former band, but their endearing minimalism does allow the boss room to rock out. It's the sound of the King Of The Underground enjoying himself. I don't think we'll begrudge him that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars another slice of genius, 25 Mar 2003
Stephen Malkmus returns with a second album that sees him mellow his more obtuse tendencies for a collection that is more alt-country than art rock. If you use songs like 'Range Life' as a starting point, then you're on the way to understanding where this album is coming from. He is still fascinated with jump cut key changes but he has attached them to more traditional song structures like the smoldering opener 'Water and a Seat' The album has a much more laid back feeling that comes as a surprise at first, but after a few listens, the gentle atmosphere of the songs completely wins you over, especially with the albums stand out tracks 'Vanessa from Queens' and 'Dark Wave'. As a lifelong Pavement obsessive, this album truely floored me, but if you have previously been put off by Malkmus' willful surealism, this could very well be the album that opens the door to his brilliance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 2 May 2008
By 
Mr. D. Thompson "dan" (leeds) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Really enjoyable album, distinctly Malkamus, its quirky, melodic, inventive witty and on its best moments sublime.

There are a few songs that dont really cut it as well as others but there are more than enough great songs here to make it worthwhile. Its pakced with little one-liners that will stay in head for ages.

its more refrained than pavement and less chirpy and melodic than his debut solo album. it has a good production level and is some of his most accessible stuff.

i think this album is a great one to listen to all the way through - it basiclly is the sign of a good album when you can listen to it all the way through and want to play it again with as few trips to the skip button the better.

reccomended to any pavement fans and anyone wanting to check out malkamus. in my mind it compares well to pavements albums.
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