Sound — 9
The first thing that you will notice about this album is Steve Malkmus' range with his vocals. If you watch some of the live performances that compliment this album (especially the Letterman one) you will understand how ridiculously talented this man really is. One big factor which I've taken into consideration when reviewing the sound of this album is that it is almost impossible to compare it to its predecessor "Slanted and Enchanted." The switch from early distorted cassette like sound, to a more tightly wound indie rock is what makes their sound sound so unrecognisable, all jokes aside when I heard "Perfume-V" and "Newark Wilder" for the first time, I had no idea that they were crated by the same band. Something that is special about this album is the harmonics uses on the guitar, "Newark Wilder" is a prime example, the last minute of the song is tied together by the subtly use of the lightly pluck harmonic. Next is tuning Malkmus is known for creative tunings and I think he experiments a lot more on this album than on "S&E."
Lyrics — 9
"Absolutely Nuts," as said previously, the range of his vocals is incredible. I am a firm believer in that no pavement song meaning anything. I think what they create as a band is beautiful but it means nothing, Malkmus is a really creative guy and he has idea's but they are simply to complex to understand which leads me to the conclusion that they don't mean anything, they just sound credible in the order he writes them. I might be a little blunt when making this statement but personally I don't see any themes that trickle throughout the album.
Overall Impression — 10
Listening to their other work I'm torn between "Crooked Rain" and "Wowee Zowee" granted this record is a lot more coherent, "Wowee Zowee" is one of the coolest records in existence. The Deluxe version of "Crooked Rain" is arguably better as its just more pavement from this time. The songs that stand out for me personally are El es Two is is obviously a sequel to "Loretta's Scars" and "Unfair" which is so simple yet it grabs you by the teeth. I've bought it twice, so should you, just in case something bad happens.