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4.5 out of 5 stars
Stephen Malkmus
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2001
Anyone devastated by the end of pavement will not be disappointed with this fantastic album.probably more of an easy listen than a most pavement albums,this is packed with beautiful pop songs about yul brinner,pirates and cold mornings in alaska.many pavement moments,still lyrically and sonically obscure and obtuse,this has definetely more of an accesible feel with it's pop culture references.'pink india' and 'trojan curfew' are beautiful,poignant songs with typically unusual subject matter.'jenny and the ess-dog' is a scathing but well-observed song about a relationship from a dog's point of view..perhaps? this is a very poignant and amusing journey round mr.malkmus' head,where history,geography and the banal aspects of contemporary culture collide,proving him to be the creative genius we knew him to be all along.
"off came those awful toe rings"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2001
It's very difficult to know how to rate an album like this. On the one hand it is an album of beauty, integrity and intellect that far surpasses 99 percent of its contemporary peers. The problem is that Steve Malkmus' debut is (and I don't say this lightly), a mediocre Pavement album. There are few of the hooks, idiosyncratic timings and raw edges that underpinned Pavements best moments and while the lyrics still tower above practically anybody else, not even the beauty of "Church on White" can deny that this is another 'pavement' album devoid of the dynamic 'highs and lows' of "Slanted&Enchanted", "Wowee Zowee" and alike....As a staunch Pavement fan, I love it, as will every other pavement fan......but this release will only maintain pre-existing love affairs and may not appeal to the uninitiated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2001
Twelve months ago I knew nothing of SM or his previous band, Pavement, but having seen them for the first time on their visit to Manchester last year, I knew enough to try this album. Cleary SM was the heart of Pavement, musically and lyrically and this album seems to carry on where Pavement left off. At first listen, I though it was OK but nothing special - given time however this album grows on you becoming absolutely addictive. The CD is a permanent resident in my car and the tunes are never out my head. It might not be the most rocking of albums and be a little poppy at times but who cares cause it makes me happy. Give it a try and plenty of listens and you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2001
I bought this album on the strength of interesting reviews, having never even heard Pavement. At first I shrugged and thought "so what?" ... I thought it was derivative and a bit too self-consciously New York. But having listened to it a lot I have to say that it's grown on me: great hooks, smart lyrics, nice production and - above all - a feel that a real person with real ideas and a brain has worked hard over it, creating an overall feel that permeates the whole thing, even though the songs themselves are pretty varied. (Worst track is the one about the pirates, that everyone raves about. New Order anyone?)
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on 8 August 2007
One of the worst album covers of the new millenium... but definitely one of the best albums lurks inside. This is a brilliant and versatile album. It's mellow and engaging enough to keep you coming back for more when you don't know what to listen to, it's poppy and rocky enough to play for groups of friends who aren't into the same music as you, it's complex and simple, fun and challenging. And Stephen Malkmus remains one of my 5 favourite guitar plays of all time.

It's unfortunate firstly that more people won't be exposed to this record due to Malkmus' underground appeal and pedigree. It's unfortunate secondly that Malkmus did such brilliant work previously with Pavement since no doubt a lot of Pavement fans have dismissed this in comparison. I think it's as good, possibly even better.

Definitely check this record out if you haven't already. Also, if you can, check out the video to Jo Jo's Jacket (the funniest music video I can think of), and Sin Taxi - the B-side to the Discretion Grove single.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2001
Having witnessed Pavement's rise from early shows at Glasgow University, through to their final show ever at Glasgow Barrowlands last year, from abandoning Sonic Youth's concert at half time simply because Pavements support performance wasso phenomenal, from a 2.30pm appearance at reading 1992 to their double header at Glasgow's Garage and Art School. I feel better placed than most to comment on the value of Mr Malkmus eponymous debut.
Looking back on the early years of Pavement we find albums littered with works of great beauty, "Here" and "Summer Babe" - Slanted and Enchanted, "Stop Breathing" Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and "Black Out" Wowwee Zowee, not to mention rasping pop songs - "Zurich Is Stained", "Grave Architecture" & the entire "Watery Domestic" EP however,over recent years - Malkmus' Pavement (whilst still producing works of great wit and musicality, "Shady Lane", "Spit On A Stranger" & "Carrot Rope" to name but a few) albums have failed to reach the dizzy heights set by their earlier works, that is until now !!!
Undoubtedly this is his most complete body of work, certainly more accessible than Wowee Zowee and Slanted and Enchanted, So it sounds just like Pavement, but a more melodic Pavement , a calmer and more settled pavement , and all the more beautiful for it. It is clear to this reviewer that having freed himself from the responsibilities of band membership, Malkmus has been awarded the freedom to rediscover his genius for humour :
Jo Jo's Jacket - "I'm not who you think I am, I'm the King of Siam, I've got a bald head my name is Yule Brimmer, And I'm a Famous Movie Star"
and melody : - "The Hook" could easily have walked out Lou Reeds Transformer Sessions.
Elsewhere "Jenny & the Ess-Dog" , "Troubbble" and "Phantasies" stake claims for pop song of the year. The Highlights - however - being the exellent "Discretion Grove", "Deado" and "Trojan Curfew" , the latter is probably Malkmus' most beautiful work (Major Leagues excepted)
All in all his finest body of work (EVER) which guarantees his seat (along with the afforementioned Lou Reed) at the head of the table for Great American Song Writers - BRILLIANT
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2001
It's fair to say that Pavement were one of the most well respected and influential indie bands of the nineties. The news of they're split last year following a hefty tour was therefore disappointedly received. Thankfully however, the Pavement legend lives on.
First to go it alone was Steve West, drummer turned bearded fool, who formed the crackpot Marble Valley and signed to Hull based label - Pork Records. Regrettably for fans of Pavement this outfit, good though they are, display few similarities to the original band from which West originated. Stephen Malkmus, on the other hand, unashamedly and quite legitimately picks up where Pavement left off with this eclectic new eponymous album.
Although it's often considered improper to refer to solo artists in terms of their previous musical outings, in this case it seems near impossible not to. Take opening track Black Book, for example, and try not to draw comparisons with Terror Twilight counterpart - Spit on a Stranger, likewise Pink India sounds remarkably like a slowed down, jerked about Carrot Rope. "brill!" Cry all the indie fans - too right! This is terrific, a new set of monumentally dumbed down intellectual songs, the like of which we'd given up hope of ever again hearing following the sad Pavement demise. Bordering on the senseless, this album bewilderingly details twelve distinct stories of coherent substance. "Jennifer dates a man/ In a sixties cover band/ He's the Ess-Dog, Sean if you wish", begins Jenny and the Ess-Dog, a dark narrative about a middle aged fella who seduces and entraps a younger woman. Meanwhile, Phantasies, a tale of optimistic romantics contains the lyric: "I got some lovely fantasies/ and I got some lovely fantasies/ and you got some lovely fantasies". And so it continues, beautifully, assembled with dashes of nonsense and genius in equal measure, Stephen Malkmus displays a maturity rarely associated with whimsical pop. An essential addition to the record shelf of any new music fan.
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on 1 March 2001
Stephen Malkmus, detail is his thought pattern. Yul Brynner is dead so he won't mind Steve singing about his 'Robotic Cowboy' ways. He died of cancer, Steve writes diseased music that is so totally wanton its unimaginably superb! I didn't realise that listening to music about being captured by pirates could be so enjoyable nor was i ready for that complete mixture of comedy, delirium and tear tinged sadness that this album brought to me. Mr. Malkmus has in his eponymous debut created a record of genius proportions, this should be up there with the first Steps album.
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on 3 January 2001
After Pavement split a large void was left the music industry. The American band have influenced many over the years - including Brit band Blur.
Luckily Stephen Malkmus, the former lead vocalist, has made the transition to solo artist seemless. Pavement style tracks with newer polished sounds, and a plethora of fantastic lyrics already make this one of the albums of the year.
Stardom surely beckons soon, but don't worry Malkmus won't go down the mainstream line (see Wowee Zowee as a case in point).
Just buy the cd ok!
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on 11 January 2001
The enigmatic Malkmus lays himself brutally open on this, his first foray into the stratosphere of eponymous solo-dom. An eclecticism (as is now customary from our gallant hero) of humour, crypticism and downright filth, the new album glows in his trademarked multifaceted no-longer-lo-fi-but-still-packin-that-University-of-Virginia punch which has safeguarded his place in our hearts and record collections despite his consistently evolving and diversifying repetoire. More power to you, Stevie Baby. You sure done us proud.
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