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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Puts other deluxe reissues to shame, 11 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition (Audio CD)
Okay, so any deluxe reissue has to be split into two parts - the original album and the bonus materials. Wowee Zowee was Pavement's third record, coming just a year after their hilariously brief brush with success in 1994.

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was far from streamlined, but it was a lot cleaner than both Slanted And Enchanted, and Wowee Zowee. It's so meandering, lengthy and haphazard that it prompted Rolling Stone to accuse Pavement of being afraid of their own success, but this record remains a fan favourite because - let's face it - this is what Pavement are all about.

The song quality is surprisingly high across nearly an hour, there are none of the non-songs they scattered through their early career and the album's skyscraping peaks are among the highest Pavement would ever reach.

The album is all over the place in the most beautiful fashion, from the countrified, acoustic opener 'We Dance' to the muffled melancholy of 'Kennel District,' the lurching insanity of 'Best Friend's Arm' to the anthemic riffage of 'Rattled By The Rush.'

As with all of the Pavement reissues to date, the extra material here is preposterously generous, adding over 100 minutes of music to the tally. Parts of it, like some of the demos and occasional live tracks, are virtually unlistenable (I love these guys but their live act was variable in the extreme) but b-sides from the albums singles and the Pacific Trim EP only paint a broader picture of where Pavement's minds were at the time - namely, all over the shop.

Pavement's five albums aren't faultless, but they're all brilliant, and it's impossible to recommend Wowee Zowee any more or less than any of its siblings bar Terror Twilight, the latter still their weakest record. Whatever you do, don't start with this one - this is without doubt their White Album - but if you're a fan of even one Pavement song, or even Malkmus' solo work, make sure you get it. And soon.
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Location: Notts

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