Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain CD
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On their second full-length album (not counting a compilation of early singles and EPs), Pavement emerge from the noisy clang and clutter to reveal the once-hidden song craft and passion that made their previous recordings so mysteriously fascinating. The mystery may have receded on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, but the fascination increases, for this album confirms what we only suspected before: Pavement are a great rock & roll band. The two Stockton, California, slackers who founded the band in 1989 have mastered the pop alchemy of transforming the collision between impatient youthful desires and a hostile world into aching, melodic vocals and driving, guitar riffs. The band's cofounders use an element of suspense to illustrate just how fragile romantic optimism really is. When Steve Malkmus yearns for a human connection in his suburban community ("Silence Kid", "Range Life") or in the alternative-rock scene ("Cut Your Hair", "Fillmore Jive"), the elegant melodies let us know that the yearning is unironic, while the unstable guitars let us know the prospects are bleak. On the album's last song, they bid "good-night to the rock & roll era" even as they're giving it a new lease on life. Geoffrey Himes
Top Customer Reviews
If you have yet to discover the joys of Pavement then 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' is undoubtedly a good starting point. Unlike most of the other Pavement releases the songs here are consistently good and there is no need to reach for the skip button on your CD player! This is not to say, other Pavement albums aren't good, quite the opposite. They are all outstanding and Pavement were certainly one of the most unfaltering and exciting bands of the 1990's.
Opener, 'Silence Kit' is something of a classic. A great melody and played as lazily as possible, it sounds like the perfect segue between this and their debut. 'Elevate Me Later' is more of the same with another lazy riff that seems to have unending possibilities up the scale. Another winner. 'Stop Breathin' is one of the best 'slow' Pavement tracks. Sometimes they can err on the rather mundane side but this just nestles in and curls round your eardrums like musical candyfloss. 'Cut Your Hair' is more upbeat and a good, fun track. 'Newark Wilder' is back to the lacadaisical but in a southern USA kind of a way, with a heatwave swagger and slide-guitar-like distortion. 'Unfair' is another passionate tirade with some excellent lyrics from Malkmus.
'Goldsoundz' took a while to like. At first it seems boring and uninteresting but the more you play it the better and breezier it becomes. A near classic. '5-4=Unity' is a nice mellow 2 minutes of jazzy breaks and sublime bridges. And 'Range Life' is 'Range Life'. It's THE classic. For an alternative, angular-sounding indie band this sort of track should not work. It's conventional to the letter. But it's a stunningly beautiful song. 'Major Leagues' from Terror Twilight comes close in terms of tone. 'Heaven is a Truck' is an ok track without being great.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have only just discovered Pavement. I cannot believe it's taken this long for me to realise what a fantastic band they were. A definitive band of the 90's and beyond.Published on 27 Jan. 2014 by Nick
Was getting back into Pavement - a band from way back that have their own way of making indie rock music. Read morePublished on 26 April 2013 by O
A "Pretzel Logic" for the '90s: a concept album about disillusionment, despair & defeat - as Greil Marcus said about that Steely Dan album, "the only concessions to pleasure are to... Read morePublished on 9 April 2010 by A. RAMM