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Pavement: Brighten The Cornors

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Pavement

Album: Brighten The Cornors
Label: Capitol

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Pavement's success as a rock band has never made much sense: Its music has rarely seen heavy commercial airplay, it tours infrequently, and it has a reputation for disliking everything. Brighten the Corners offers 12 more justifications for the band's dedicated core of support: From the rollicking "Stereo" to the Byrds-esque "Date w/ IKEA" to the languid, nonsensical "Type Slowly," Brighten the Corners is more of what Pavement fans want: more Pavement. Steve Malkmus' wry delivery and witty non-sequiturs are intact, and the band mixes skewed anthems and low-key ramblers more effectively than on 1995's resolutely mellow Wowee Zowee. The presence of a few tracks that just might play in Poughkeepsie guarantees the conversion of a few more roundheads to Pavement's particular brand of musical porcupines. As a whole, Brighten the Corners is a stellar example of why Pavement gets labeled "slack-rock": because it makes great rock albums, and makes it look easy.