Stephen Malkmus
Wig Out At Jagbags


3.5
great

Review

by Ali CONTRIBUTOR (130 Reviews)
January 9th, 2014 | 20 replies | 2,461 views


Release Date: 01/07/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A fresh melodic breeze to usher in the new year...

If the recent end-of-year avalanche has taught us anything, it's that music listeners - and writers in particular - love rooting around for deeper meaning. Since music as an art-form carries an element of ambiguity, this perennial quest has plenty going for it, but surely it crosses the line when we're sourcing gallant social commentary and the base of the human soul in records ultimately devised as a spot of fun. Thank goodness, then, that 2014 has kickstarted with an album which defies overanalysis; one which requires merely a pair of ears and a receptive brain chamber to enjoy, and nary a hint of dedication nor speculative invention. Yeezus' virtual antithesis, if you will.

Having led one of the more influential alternative groups of the past quarter-century, Stephen Malkmus has hardly been immune to binocular scrutiny. While this is palpable in the case of Pavement, however, the 47-year-old's solo output backed by long-time associates The Jicks almost repels such practices, so immaterial is its nature. To be clear, that's no gripe - merely a reflection that for all their obvious qualities, the six LPs yielded during this 14 year pairing have often bordered on trivial. Sure, you pick apart the lyrical themes contained within Jagbags - references to age, and his old band's reunion are especially prevalent - but by and large they play second fiddle to Malkmus' enduring ear for a winning melody. How, for instance, could anyone bypass the sheer jubilance of 'Chartjunk,' whose solo fulfills the "wig out" promise housed in the title, or indeed 'Houston Hades,' whose effortless tune will bug employees as it carries you whistling through the working week?

There's certainly nothing converts aren't already accustomed to, but why should there be from a happily married father-of-two, whose middle-aged ambitions surely amount to comfort having spent most his life in the public glare? Besides, who can complain when what we're left with are the singular talents of one of indie rock's most consistent exponents, which for all their slacker vibes and inconsequantuality are still to seriously disappoint. Overanalysis be damned: At the end of the day, music exists for listeners' enjoyment, and although we're barely a week in, you can bet there won't be many records this year which succeed in that purpose with less fuss.



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2014



7313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

New year's resolutions:

1) Write more, write better.
2) Run more, run further.
3) Learn to cook something that's not pasta.
4) Get a girlfriend.
5) Don't be a prick.

This, obviously, is my first move concerning the former. Feedback much appreciated!

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2014



5977 Comments


show writing to girls, 4 will come easy too

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2014



5977 Comments


also, for what it's worth, i don't think i've ever seen you be a prick to anyone ever

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2014



5977 Comments


okay pause great review (duh)

still need to listen to pavement so i'm not ready for this yet

Crawl
January 9th 2014



1544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review ali, album is solid

Kiran
Emeritus
January 9th 2014



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

there are so many little things i love about this, like how 'chartjunk' is supposed to be about brandon jennings and scott skiles and the way malkmus sings 'droppin dimes / layin sweet feeds on my homies', its just too much

terrific late career form with real emotional trash, mirror traffic and this

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
January 9th 2014



11793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wag out at wagwags

Digging: Tenement - Taking Everything b?/?w Daylight World Plus 2

zakalwe
January 9th 2014



6494 Comments


Cinnamon and lesbians is as good as I had hoped.

Crawl
January 9th 2014



1544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

my fav is probably Houston Hades

ShitsofRain
January 9th 2014



5544 Comments


get a girlfriend

Digging: Ben Sims - Fabric 73

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
January 9th 2014



11793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol

Meruem
January 9th 2014



17 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

J smoov tho

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2014



7313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That one didn't really stand out for me. To be fair, though, practically every review I've seen has picked out different songs, which tells you what a solid record it is.

Pheromone
January 10th 2014



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Listening now, sounds fantastic thus far

Digging: The Go-Betweens - 16 Lovers Lane

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
January 10th 2014



11793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea dude it fresh af

Pheromone
January 12th 2014



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rumble is a terrible song

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
July 21st 2014



11793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

houston hades tho ♥

Artuma
July 21st 2014



10401 Comments


steve!!! didn't know he is still making music

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
July 21st 2014



11793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ya its v chill stuff he is still wonderful

Artuma
July 21st 2014



10401 Comments


gotta check



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