Brighten The Corners - Reissue

Image of Pavement - Brighten The Corners - Reissue

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Pavement's fourth proper LP seems to be a direct response to anyone who thought 1995's "Wowee Zowee" sealed a downward spiral from indie-pop heroes to incomprehensible, in-joke nonconformists. On "Brighten The Corners", the rock hero in Pavement re-emerges as the dominant stereotype, making the lyrical idiosyncrasies on which critics of the band like to harp into witty window-dressing. Nowhere is this dichotomy better heard than on the electrifying opener, "Stereo", which rages with anthemic power-chords and a rock-star chorus ('Hey! Listen to me! I'm on the stereo'), while also pondering the longest-standing mystery in rock, the voice of Rush singer Geddy Lee ('how did it get so high/I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy').

Musically, "Brighten The Corners" extends the rock tradition to the other side of Sonic Youth's dissonant discoveries while staying free of grunge's self-defeatist mentality. No longer a group of lo-fi pranksters, Pavement has tightened up into a mighty ensemble, able to jam like psychedelic maniacs (the closing "Fin") or fly by night like punks on speed ("Embassy Row"). Lyrically, Stephen Malkmus and co-conspirator Scott Kannberg (aka Spiral Stairs) have started questioning where they belong in a late-90s world seemingly devoid of secrets and mysteries. Their declarations present yet another yin-yang to the Pavement whole: Kannberg's answers seem to lie in emotional stability, Malkmus' in the never-ending search itself. These uncertainties of dealing with one's unrecognised worth play out like an Irvine Welsh novel: the chapters full of spunky glee, the ending steeped in melancholy.


Shady Lane/J Vs. S
Transport Is Arranged
Old To Begin
Type Slowly
Embassy Row
Blue Hawaiian
We Are Underused
Passat Dream
Starlings Of The Slipstream

‘Brighten The Corners: Nicene Creedence’ 2CD Bonus Tracks:
And Then (The Hexx)
Beautiful As A Butterfly
Westie Can Drum
Winner Of The
Birds In The Majic Industry
Harness Your Hopes
Roll With The Wind
Slowly Typed
Cherry Area
Wanna Mess You Around
No Tan Lines
And Then (The Hexx)
Harness Your Hopes
The Killing Moon
Winner Of The
Embassy Row Psych Intro
Chevy (Old To Begin)
Roll With The Wind (Roxy)
Type Slowly
Neil Hagerty Meets Jon Spencer In A Non-Alcoholic
Destroy Mater Dei
It's A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl
Maybe Maybe
Grave Architecture
The Classical
Space Ghost Theme I
Space Ghost Theme II

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