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Pavement
Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain


4.5
superb

Review

by Ryus USER (24 Reviews)
December 31st, 2013 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist


The 90's was teeming with music full of life and brilliance. The rap scene plateaued at the explosively popular and original level of the decade before, and grunge was reinvigorating the presence of rock in mainstream music. But one of the most prominent and original music scenes of the decade was indie and alternative. Pavement were the eminent 90's alternative rock band, their trademark sound consisting of lo-fi-tinged indie and jangling guitars. Their second album, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, was a slight step away from the even more lo-fi sounds of their debut, Slanted & Enchanted. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain displayed a more refined signed, yet the intricate guitar leads and upbeat melodies remained.

Perhaps the best example of Pavement's sound is the song that introduced Pavement to success, "Cut Your Hair." The lyrics are a critique of hair metal bands and the general importance of a band's image in the music industry. The idea is cleverly executed, with lines like "Advertising looks and chops a must/No big hair." The backing vocals and melody itself evoke a 60's sunny bubblegum pop band. The band's playing and Steven Malkmus's singing are in general sloppy, but Pavement's musicianship doesn't need to be perfect to create an excellent song. The track is warm and catchy, and has a surprising sustainability and replay value, as does the album.

The most enduring and overall best song on the album, however, is "Gold Soundz." Gold Soundz is definitely one of the greatest songs on the nineties, however it usually goes unrecognized by people, even Pavement fans. After multiple listens, the track stood out in my mind, however hiding from me initially. It emerged to become one of my favorite songs ever. The melody itself is simple and repetitive, while never boring because of its prompt tone. Its lyrics are enigmatic and depressing at times, with quotable excellent lines such as "You're the kind of girl I like because you're empty/And I'm empty." The song is as sunny as "Cut Your Hair" melodically, yet simpler, and over before you know it. Its brilliance lies in its simplicity, its lyricism, and songwriting.

Despite having its fantastic stand-outs, much of the album is consistently good or great. Opener "Silence Kit," "Stop Breathing," and "Newark Wilder" are all great songs, but another classic is "Range Life." Its name is reminiscent of country life somewhere in the Midwest, as is its music. Twangy guitar leads lace the track, as well as a consistent drive-able groove. Malkmus's deep vocals aren't fantastic, yet satisfactory for the track. Despite exploring the sounds of country music, "Range Life" is not far off from Pavement's sound--still sounding warm and catchy.

Only a few tracks drag down the consistency of the rest of the album--oddball "Heaven Is A Truck" doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the album, with calm piano and a throwaway melody. It's one of the least memorable songs, and Pavement have a knack for memorable songs. "5-4=Unity" is interesting at first listen, yet ultimately forgettable and an out-of-place interlude.

But even though the tenth and eleventh songs aren't as worthwhile as they should be, it's made up for by the stellar closer, complete with a massive chorus and fuzzy guitars. The song is an anthem for Pavement if there ever was one, with solos reminiscent of hard-rock bands, yet still retaining their original sound. The track manages to build up and wind down the album fantastically, leaving the listener very satisfied.

Pavement is the indie-rock band of the '90s--their songwriting is top-notch, with a plethora of classic tracks shining in their catalogue, and a superb album, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. It's one of the best albums of the '90s because of its advances from their debut--they've expanded their sound to a more pure rock sound, yet still as catchy and fun. There are so many stand-outs, especially one of the greatest songs ever, "Gold Soundz." Pavement have shown themselves as a classic indie-rock band if there ever was one.



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user ratings (1442)
4.3
superb


Comments:Add a Comment 
hogan900
December 31st 2013


3241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only 3 reviews for this? dang. But this was a nice read.

ShitsofRain
December 31st 2013


8250 Comments


cut your hair

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2013


58780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cut Your Hair is about wanting your gf to trim her pubes

TheBarber
January 1st 2014


4058 Comments


Nah it's a metaphor about music trends in the 90's. I agree about heaven is a truck, song fits odly in the album.

TheBarber
January 1st 2014


4058 Comments


Also best album, deluxe edition for this is amazin'

ExcentrifugalForz
January 1st 2014


2124 Comments


no doubt

Bieberfan20
January 1st 2014


24 Comments


*yup*

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 1st 2014


17531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brilliant album.

KILL
January 1st 2014


81238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea good stuff prefer the 1 before tho

jtswope
January 1st 2014


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Go back to those gold soundz

DrHouseSchuldiner
January 1st 2014


5642 Comments


Brilliant album.[2]

zakalwe
January 1st 2014


35932 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wowee Zowee is best

KriegdemKriege
January 1st 2014


1544 Comments


Really good review. I would avoid showing emphasis through italics though. Let your writing speak for itself.

Fillmore Jive is one of my all-time favorite songs.



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