Friday, September 2, 2011

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Add Date: August 30 

Artist: Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks 

Album: Mirror Traffic 

Label: Matador 

Genre: Rock 

Comments: I'll echo what's already been said about Mirror Traffic: this is the most Pavement-sounding post-Pavement record that Stephen Malkmus has released. Perhaps that seminal band's recent reunion inspired some of the songwriting here; and, for what it's worth, that opening statement isn't meant to be a knock on Malkmus' other work, which has been quite good. But as one (anonymous?) critic noted, "I respect his right to make any record he wants, but this is the album that me and a lot of other people have waited 10 years for."

It certainly helps to have some good company, and Mirror Traffic provides that. Beck produced the LP, while the Jicks' lineup features drummer Janet Weiss (ex-Sleater-Kinney, and now part of nascent supergroup Wild Flag), as well as longtime indie rock stalwarts Joanna Bolme and Mike Clark. The songwriting is great, while the music is superb--and as was the case with Pavement, everything just sounds so effortlessly easy. Malkmus wins again. Try tracks 1, 7, 11, 9 and 4.

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