Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (Domino)

 |   |  <1 min read

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Stick Figures in Love
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (Domino)

The previous album by Malkmus (formerly of Pavement) with the Jicks was the very trippy Real Emotional Trash.

But here, after touring again with Pavement, he gets into the studio with Beck Hansen as producer for 15 focused songs which place emphasis on, if nothing else, audability.

His words -- droll, slightly self-torturing and geekish, delivered with that slight strain -- are now right out front even though some of that fizzy guitar backdrop remans intact.

But this is a much quieter, almost reflective album and although that squirreling psychedelic guitar is still there (Senator, Asking Price, Spazz) it remains in service of the songs. And at times it just soars (as on the quietly thrilling Stick Figures in Love)

There's also a slightly folk-rock funk touch in places (Brain Gallop), delicious langour (Long Hard Book, All Over Gently, Fall Away), a nod to country (Share the Red), punk energy (Tune Grief) and everywhere a restraint which throws these songs into the pop-economy category.

And of course the lyrics sound like a bookish acid-dropping loner grappling with life, relationships and politics in his own slightly uncertain way.

Taken together it makes for his most endearing post-Pavement album to date.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this which also has Beck at the controls

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Pink Floyd: The Endless River (Sony)

Pink Floyd: The Endless River (Sony)

Because Pink Floyd have been around so long and went through various phases and stages, it's probably helpful for any reviewer of this album – identified by guitarist/prime mover David... > Read more

The Zac Brown Band: You Get What You Give (Atlantic)

The Zac Brown Band: You Get What You Give (Atlantic)

No surprise that Captain Cruise-Control, the laidback Jimmy Buffett, appears as a guest here because about half the songs have Buffett's easy Caribbean-country flavour and the world isn't something... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Dub Inc: Paradise (Naive)

Dub Inc: Paradise (Naive)

Although little known in this country, the multi-culti Dub Inc from France coming here for Womad this weekend have been around since the late Nineties, have played in over 50 countries and released... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more