Brighten the Corners

CD Cover Pavement

Review by Darren Kerr

It seems like such a long time ago that Pavement emerged, lackadaisical and cryptic, daring everyone within earshot to decipher their jagged encryptions. People who have successfully cracked the code have allegedly received such psychic goodies as the Mark E. Smith decoder ring and the coveted skyscraper starter.

Slanted and Enchanted was exactly that. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was and is timeless music, dated only by a few well-aimed shots at Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins. Wowie Zowie was like a safety mechanism, a subtle self-destruct sequence which kicked in when the band was getting too big.

The band's latest disc, Brighten the Corners has a cohesive feel, like they laboured over the song order to give it maximum depth and flow. Stephen Malkmus gives good yelp and when the fractured song suites the band serves up are as tuneful as Malkmus is perplexing, as is the case with "Transport is Arranged," "Type Slowly" and "Embassy Row," the result is music perfectly suited for can kicking, sky gazing, and drinking gin in a row boat.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on March 28, 1997

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