Pavement - Crooked Rain Crooked Rain Viny LP 2020
2. Elevate Me Later
3. Stop Breathin
4. Cut Your Hair
5. Newark Wilder
7. Gold Soundz
8. 5 4 Unity
9. Range Life
10. Heaven Is a Truck
11. Hit the Plane Down
12. Fillmore Jive
It may be a bit reductive to call Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain the reckoning to Slanted And Enchanted’s Murmur, not to mention easy, considering that Pavement recorded a song long tribute to R.E.M.’s second album during the Crooked Rain sessions but there’s a certain truth in that statement all the same.
Slanted And Enchanted is an enigmatic masterpiece, retaining its mystique after countless spins, but Crooked Rain strips away the hiss and fog of S and E, removing some of Pavement’s mystery yet retaining their fractured sound and spirit. It’s filled with loose ends and ragged transitions, but compared to the fuzzy, dense Slanted, Crooked Rain is direct and immediately engaging, it puts the band’s casual melodicism, sprawling squalls of feedback, disheveled country rock, and Stephen Malkmus’ deft wordplay in sharp relief.
It’s the sound of a band discovering its own voice as a band, which is only appropriate because up until Crooked Rain, Pavement was more of a recording project bet. The full band gives the music a richer, warmer vibe that’s as apparent on the rampaging, noise ravaged Unfair as it is on the breezy, sun kissed country rock of Range Life or its weary, late night counterpart, Heaven Is a Truck.
By drawing on so many different influences, Pavement discovered its own distinctive voice as a band on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, creating a vibrant, dynamic, emotionally resonant album that stands as a touchstone of underground rock in the ’90s and one of the great albums of its decade.