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

Lauren Thomson: Our Love is Due (Pure)

Lauren Thomson: Our Love is Due (Pure)

True story: I received this five-song EP before Christmas, played it a bit then put on the "get to" pile -- which meant it was ignored in the Christmas shuffle. The other day I pulled... > Read more

The Eels: Meet the Eels and Useless Trinkets (Geffen/Universal)

The Eels: Meet the Eels and Useless Trinkets (Geffen/Universal)

Wherein cult band the Eels get the kind of re-issue/repackage usually reserved for Major Big Name Acts: Meet the Eels is a 24 track compilation of 10 years from 1996 with a 12 clip DVD collection... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER ROB SCOTT on the tug of two homelands

GUEST WRITER ROB SCOTT on the tug of two homelands



It really sneaks up on you, New Zealand. 

I’ve travelled close to 30 hours to get here. On this final 4 hour leg, I watch a few M*A*S*H episodes as the expanse of ocean... > Read more

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, REVISITED (2012): Another clue for you, the scapegoat was Paul

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, REVISITED (2012): Another clue for you, the scapegoat was Paul

In the Beatles' Anthology documentary, when The Greatest Story Ever Sold reaches 1968 and their disparate double album The Beatles (aka The White Album) some -- like producer George Martin and... > Read more