During the recording of Mirror Traffic, his fifth album with The Jicks, Stephen Malkmus split his time time between this and the successful Pavement reunion tour. That may have been a fragmented way to record an album, but it doesn't show on the final product; this is a polished, complete and competent album.
The only comparison that can be drawn between this and previous albums is diversity: Tracks on the album vary greatly in length, tone and style, there are rollicking indie rock tunes like `Senator', which is sandwiched between the acoustic dominated `No One Is (As I Are Be) and the low-tempo `Brain Gallop'.
There are still some oddball tracks here though: clocking in at one minute and twenty three seconds, `Junglegloss' sounds like it came from Pavement's most eclectic album, the divisive `Wowee Zowee', but there's not much else on the album that can be criticised. The album was produced by Beck, not that most people will be able to recognise this, as Beck has said that he prefers taking a minimalist approach when it comes to production: "There's a perception that if an artist produces another artist, they're going to imprint on them. But I'm the opposite. I want to hear that artist; I don't want to hear me-- that's the last thing I want to hear".
`Mirror Traffic' can be summed up as a solid and enjoyable indie rock album: fans who are still upset that Pavement will probably not be getting back together again; never mind recording a new album, shouldn't be too upset, because this album proves that The Jicks are just as capable as Pavement, and are hopefully here to stay.