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Wowee Zowee

Wowee Zowee

8 Mar 2010
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 8 Mar. 2010
  • Release Date: 8 Mar. 2010
  • Label: Domino Recording Co
  • Copyright: 2003 Domino Recording Co Ltd
  • Total Length: 56:03
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003AKI72U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,024 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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You won't find a bad Pavement album. All 5 of them are sublime, off-kilter slices of slacker americana indie rock that differ widely while still retaining Steve Malkmus' encompassing presence and drive. Wowee Zowee is probably the least accessible collection and does at times feel like a b-sides anthology, but it still holds its own head and shoulders above its peers.

After the alt-genius of Slanted and Enchanted and the groove-laden Crooked Rain, Wowee Zowee comes across as a progression of the band's sound. The opener, 'We Dance', is evidence of this. It's beautiful but not particularly edgy or loud. But it never sounds conventional either. It's one of my favourite Pavement tracks. 'Rattled by the Rush' follows with more swagger and continues the trend with an almost pop rhythm-style riff. However it soon arcs into the Pavement of old and the melody gets lost in a smorgasboard of jangly nonsense. In a good way.

Inevitably for an album with 18 tracks there is some filler and these come in the shape of the minute or so long songs like 'Brinx Job'm, Serpentine Pad' and 'Flux=Rad'. These are not bad tracks, they just don't stay around long enough to be likable. This is the main problem with Wowee: If it was halved, track-wise, then it would be an astounding album.

My pick of the songs would be the first 2 I have mentioned already, 'Grounded', 'Father to a Sister of Thought', 'Grave Architecture' (very groovy) and the excellent 'Kennel District'.

It's hard to critique or quantify how good Pavement are as they seem to be outside of the music scene rather than playing into the global idea of what music should be. But even as a fan it's easy to see that this is no masterpiece. However, it is still one of the best albums you're likely to hear. Well this and every other Pavement album.
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There are many reasons to hate this album. First off it's a Pavement album. Second, they are willfully frustrating- both stylistically, musically and lyrically. But the same reasons to hate it are the same reasons to love it. And the bottom line is there are some utterly gorgeous songs- Grounded, Blackout, Rattled, Kennel District, Father to Sister, Fight This Generation to name a few- that make this album so utterly compelling. This album, along with Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and Brighten the Corners, has been on my mini disc player since August (2004), which makes me a pretty sick individual but illustrates the sheer compulsiveness of this music. It can be difficult, but in the end it draws you in. Wowee Zowee is a beautiful mess,but by some distance is Pavements best album.
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The lazy description is to call this their White Album. Spralling, eclectic, surprising and frequently beautiful. Lacks the proffesional sheen of the next 2, but retains the lo-fi homespun spontaneous charm of Crooked Rain and Slanted. Probably not the place to start, that would be the more immediate Crooked Rain, this is the home of Pavements most Pavement-esque moments.
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This is the best Pavement album; it retains some of the urgency and rawness of the earlier stuff like Slanted and Enchanted (also brilliant) while showing off Pavement's mellower side, which surfaced more in the later (and frankly rather self-indulgent) later albums. Don't expect it to be immediately accessible, especially if you're not familiar with Pavement's oeuvre, but it rewards repeated listening. The album cover and the fact that the vinyl version was a 3-side album (side 4 was just blank) tells you a lot about the deliberate weirdness of Pavement, which isn't to everyone's taste.
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What an album!!!! From the first chords of We Dance you know this is going to be good. Every tune is run through with seemingly meaningless lyrics that pang with poignancy and emotion in tunes such as Extradition and Grounded ("Boys are dying on these streets"). But Pavement don't just wallow on the softer side of Indie Rock. Oh no!!! With tunes such as Serpentine Pad and Flux=Rad they show that they can give bands like Nirvana a run for their money. In short this album is one of the greatest triumphs of 90's rock. Buy it and you will be happy for the rest of your days!!!
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