Released: Feb 2, 1994
Genre: Indie Rock
Genre: Big Cat, Matador
Number Of Tracks: 12
Pavement is probably one of the most detrimental indie band of all time. They ruled the early '90s indie scene, and 1994's "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain" just further justifies this.
Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
snoogins17, on march 12, 2009 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Pavement is probably one of (if not) the most detrimental indie band of all time. They ruled the early 90s indie scene, and 1994's Crooked Rain Crooked Rain just further justifies this. The sound of the album is absolutely amazing. It sounds like a bunch of friends just rented out a studio and recorded an album, which gives it a more organic and meaningful sound. It sounds very pure in the sense that they don't care if they're off key or if his voice isn't Robert Plants, they just love to play and share music. The melodies are probably some of the catchiest and most gorgeous melodies to come out of the early 90s, if it's your first time listening, you probably wont like it very much, but it will grow on you more and more and more. The over distorted guitars, the sloppy intense drums, the Pixie like bass lines, and of coarse Stephen Malkmus's superb voice. It's a perfect album, but it's a perfect album because it's imperfect. // 10
Lyrics: Stephen Malkmus never fails to please with his witty and deep lyrics. They provide some of the best imagery and just let your mind wander. They're extremely open for interpretation, which gives the listener the freedom to find out what they want the lyrics to mean. Stephen Malkmus's lyrics are like if you were to take Kurt Cobain's obscure imagery and combine it with Bob Dylan's free flowing verses. Stephen is a genius with words and should be hailed as a king in abstract yet simple lyrics. // 10
Overall Impression: Crooked Rain Crooked Rain is responsible for me branching out of the mainstream scene to see what else there was in the world of music. It is defiantly in my list of top ten albums. It should be hailed as big as Nirvana's Nevermind in the sense that it was something fresh and very inspirational. Crooked Rain Crooked Rain is an album that you listen to then go out and try and start a band. It's very inspiring in all natures. I adore this album with all my heart. It's a little nostalgic slice of clarity and every time I listen to it I can't help but smile and feel better. If this album was stolen or lost I'd buy it every single time I lost a copy. It is a must have to anyone who loves music. // 10
Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
GoldSoundzUKNZ, on march 13, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Pavement are arguably one of the most influential alternative rock bands ever, and deservedly so. Although no longer around, their 5 albums continually crop up in best album lists, and are referenced by many a modern musician.
This album, their 2nd, sees them expand on the lo-fi, overdriven sound they showed on their landmark debut Slanted and Enchanted, adding more classic rock influences, and a lot more melody, in what is probably their most accessible effort. The music was slowed down, possibly due to crazy drummer Gary Young being replaced. There is nothing challenging; most budding guitarists could have it covered in a couple of weeks, but somehow, it still manages to be new. It contained their "biggest" single: the leering, sarcastic Cut Your Hair. Because of it's accessibility, it is a good starting point to Pavement for those unfamiliar with the band, or the genre.
No two songs sound exactly the same, and each one could have a different adjective put next to it. From the messy Silence Kid to the sprawling Fillmore Drive, from the angry Unfair to the hopelessly romantic Gold Soundz (my personal favourite: see my username! ), this album really is something special. // 8
Lyrics: Stephen Malkmus' lyrics had a reputation for breaking your heart without you realising what on earth they meant. Often, they were extremely vague, and sometimes you couldn't even understand what he was singing, so you would simply draw your own conclusions as to what they meant. On this album though, he began to develop his lyrics into something more poetic.
Of note is Range Life, which became infamous because it's lyrics poked fun at the Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots, and Billy Corgan even threatened to take the Smashing Pumpkins out of a festival if Pavement played too. This set up many future scraps. All because Malkmus said he "could really give a f--k" about what the Pumpkins meant.
Ok, sure, like many legendary "Indie/Alternative" singers (Thurston Moore, J.Mascis, Black Francis, Bob Mould), Malkmus couldn't sing very well, and didn't really try to. It just kind of fit with the feel of the music, as if trying to sing in tune would've ruined the song. // 7
Overall Impression: The sound is still kind of rough, the lyrics odd, the 'singing' average. On their own, it seems bad, yet somehow it all gels together, it works. The track sequencing is almost perfect, with maybe a couple of hiccups along the way. There is not a single low point, with the songs fitting any and every mood.
It is Pavement's most accessible album, so it is a great starting point. However you may just get a shock with their others, particularly Slanted... And Wowee Zowee. On the strength of this album, Pavement deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as bands like Pixies, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., and the Replacements as the best alternative rock bands ever.
Personally, my favourite songs are Stop Breathin', Cut Your Hair, Unfair, Gold Soundz, Range Life and Fillmore Jive. That said, that's half the album, so I should just say I like the whole lot.
This album has been a major influence on my songwriting, so if it were stolen, I would go crazy! I would probably buy the Special Edition to replace it though, but this version works just fine!
You cannot call yourself a rock fan, or an "Indie-Kid" if you don't own this album (and Slanted and Enchanted too). So go buy it! // 10
Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
iluvstospooge, on april 30, 2015 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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." // 9
Lyrics: "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. // 9
Overall Impression: 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. // 10