All of a sudden i'm 17 again, sitting in my bedroom trying to work out the chords to "Range Life".. A phenomenal reissue - even if you already own this underrated masterpiece it's still worth forking out the price of an album for the whopping 49 tracks and cool little booklet you get here. laid back, raw, sunkissed, lyrically bizarre, melodic genius. Unmissable.
Come on! You are gonna buy this already. Just take a look at that price and the amount of extra tracks you get. The 2nd disc contains unreleased songs that really do stand up to crooked rain (maybe abit rough round the edges) and the peel sessions are brill. If like me you didn't buy the singles it's great to get the b-sides also! The packaging is very nice to. Comes in a slip case with cut out bits and you get a colour booklet! This has photos and small essays by malkmus,spiral,etc. Matador/Domino really are just amazing. I got the re-issue of the first Weezer album and it cost me alot more than £10. Plus the extra tracks weren't that good. If you are a pavement fan - face it - you will get this! If you are new to this band, I would start with this one. Glorious oddball pop songs that don't seem to age!
I can't add much to what's been said about this fantastic album by one of the greatest but underrated bands of all time, except to say that Pavement were a very special band indeed. They created their own musical world and I'm thrilled to have discovered it, albeit in my thirties! I was aware of them at the time through John Peel but didn't appreciate how good they were. Too busy getting down with the 'Madchester' bands.
It takes a few listens for Pavement albums to get their hooks in. They seem a little chaotic and uninviting at first (and this has probably deterred a lot of listeners) but gradually reveal themselves and when they do you know you've found something very special indeed. This and 'Slanted and Enchanted' are now two of my favourite albums and I'm looking forward to working my way through the rest of their catalogue.
First there was "Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe and Reduxe," a richly enhanced double-disc set with a fat liner book of notes. Now there's "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins," a similar reissue of Pavement's magnificent sophomore album -- and crammed with so much new stuff that it's worth getting again.
The first half of the first disc is the original "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain": the caustic pop-rock of "Cut Your Hair," the dark "Stop Breathin'," the folky "Range Life," and the trippy "Newark Wilder." It's immensely, intensely good, with a cleaner sound than the lo-fi "Slanted and Enchanted," and a sort of suburban-kid-turned-rocker perspective.
But wait: there's much more. Almost forty songs more, to be precise! Packed into every crevice of the disc is B-sides, singles, and other free-floating music from Pavement's "Crooked" days. One example is "Cooling By Sound," a sardonically wicked song that informs you that Malkmus is cooler than thou. Another is the quiet B-side "Strings of Nashville."
Then there is the second disc: eleven unreleased songs accompanied by a bunch of other tracks. These extras are not all good, but they are always enlightening, especially the eight that were made with Gary Young. There are even some rough early songs which Pavement was messing around with at the time, and were later rerecorded for "Wowee Zowee." Rounding it off are a bunch of other early creations -- some funnier songs, some instrumental experiments -- and a session with the much-lamented DJ John Peel. And accompanying the CDs is a fat little booklet, full of retrospectives and glossy pics.
"Crooked Rain Crooked Rain" was recorded in an apartment over a record store, which seems like an appropriate place for an indie-rock album to be born. Especially for one of the best underground bands of that era, whose catchy, weird pop-rock has remained relevant and enjoyable right up to this day. It seems only right that this sprawling reissue is just so... big. Never can it be said that Matador didn't do justice to Pavement in these reissues.
Malkmus and the other Pavement guys had plenty of talent -- they could be fun and catchy, gritty and lo-fi, or dark and weird. And while "Slanted And Enchanted: Luxe and Reduxe" was a look at the birth of the band, this is more of a how-to-make-an-album portrait. Not bad, just different. A good kind of different.
The Peel Sessions are among the best of the extras on this release. The B-sides and "rough drafts" are not as polished as the final product; sometimes the songs like "Range Life" and "Ell Ess Two" (an early "Elevate Me Later") were entirely different. A few of the extras are for die-hard fans only, like "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence." But cram them all together, and it feels like Pavement has released a whole new album. In a sense, despite being disbanded, they have.
"Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins" is a must-buy -- with four times the original material and formerly unreleased songs, it's an amazing release even if you already have the original.
I bought Crooked Rain in 1994, played it to death, & worshipped at the altar of Pavement for several years thereafter... so much so that I have difficulty sitting down & listening to the album "proper" these days: I've already played it WAY too much, it's every nuance is imprinted on my long-term memory it seems, rather like The V.U.'s "banana" album or Bowie's Ziggy.
However, this reissue is worth picking up for the extra disc alone - a brilliantly tatty, scattershot mélange of b-sides, Peel sessions, & demos that contains enough unused raw material for (at least) another entire Pavement album. Malkmus, Spiral & co. were stupendously prolific at this point - in fact, there were so many discarded songs left over at the end of the Crooked Rain sessions that I'm surprised Wowee Zowee wasn't a quadruple LP!
Ultimately, I'll always prefer Slanted & Enchanted, as that's when I intersected with (& immersed myself in) Pavement's surreal muse but, if I'm honest, Crooked Rain is a more impressive achievement by far, & inarguably their finest "band" album.
I feel I owe it it to Malkmus/Kannberg/Ibold/Nastanovich/West to add my piece. Their music was quite simply the 'after hours' soundtrack to the entite 90's. Given that it's now 2010 and they remain under the radar, and yet right up there with the best of the VERY best makes me smile. Like one reviewer said, it takes a while. And yet their 'pop' songs should hook you instantly. Even then it's only your speakers that do justice. Marvel at the madness and the gorgeous, building guitars, before they dump you in lyrical lunacy. Play them loud and often. On a summer night or an autumn Passat Dream. Look at the PaVement
Originally released over a decade ago "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain" sounds as fresh and exciting on this reissue as it did back in 1994. Classics such as "Silence Kit", "Cut Your Hair" and "Range Life" are just that, classics. And with over 35 bonus tracks thrown in too this special edition is a must buy. A extraordinary bands defining moment.
this is a fabulous reissue, think of all the great stuff you got on the slanted and enchanted reissue, well this matches and excedes it. disc 2 is where you want to head straight to. disc 1 has the original album which still sounds excellent but disc 2 is the unheard jems. check out gary young drumming on the first 8 songs. standout tracks inclood 'ell ess two', 'stop breathin(disc 2)' 'jmc retro', strings of nashville...hell they are all good. just buy it, its cheep and it will cheer you on.
When I first heard this album I was an adolescent teenager with bad floppy hair and a Dinosaur Jnr fixation. Years later, long after all my Dinosaur Jnr albums have gone to the storage graveyard in the loft, I'm still listening to Pavement. For me Brighten the Corners is their best album, but Crooked Rain still rates as a life changer. Musically it took me down a different road, away from the antipathic, introverted angst of Nirvarna, or Smashing Pumpkins into a whole new world of playful melodys, lyrics and sharp, sharp humour. Before Pavement I always belived music had to be serious. It even turned me into the musician I am today. Search out '53mph' on Amazon and you can find my CD. It would never have existed without this album.
As any Pavement fan will know, Crooked Rain is the classic breakthrough album from the band. This special re-release 2 CD edition certainly proves worth the extra tracks, the Peel Session on the end of the second CD alone is worth buying the re-issue for. The 12 tracks fromm the original pressing are here along with some that didnt quite make the final cut, the demo's of Wowee Zowee tracks 'Grounded' and 'Kennel District' are worthy of good listening and show how much they cleaned tham up for that album. All in all I would recomend this album to anybody who is interested in the band, even if you have the original its worth investing for the other 30 or so tracks.