The debut album by the Jicks (or Stephen Malkmus, as the cover says) is an exciting and fun, and would certainly be heralded as a very promising debut if the shadow of Pavement did not loom so heavily over the band. And that is understandable, as the Jicks share the smae frontman as Pavement, and Mr. Malkmus brings to the Jicks all of the clever, "nonsensical but soemhow makes sense" wordplay that graced so many of Pavement's songs. Personally, I think that the comparisons should stop there. Wehereas Pavement's music was characterized by its jagged edges and the feeling that the whole thing could fall apart at any moment, the Jicks' music is tight and solid. Not that that's a bad thing. I find that the tight structures actually compliment Malkmus's delivery quite well. And these songs are fun. Songs like "The Hook" and "Jennifer and the Ess-Dog" bounce along with an enthusiasm and zeal that was certainly lacking from Pavement's final two releases. (Anyone who has seen thier live shows should know that Malkmus seems much more loose with the Jicks) Elsewhere, the Jicks exude wistful elegance, as in "Pink India" and the absolutely wonderful "Church on White". Although I still cringe when I hear Malkmus attempting a relatively straightforward rock number such as "Discretion Grove", for the most part the good greatly outweighs the bad. I'd give it three and a half stars if I could.