Pavement – Brighten The Corners (R1997)

Comprehensive “Nicene Creedence Edition” of 1997 fourth album

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Pavement’s languid yet hysterical shredding of North American rock always reminds me of the scene in Blue Velvet, where cleancut Jeffrey Beaumont breaks into the chicken walk. Brighten The Corners is stocked with familiar Pavement furniture: slack-strung guitars, chords changing gear with a satisfying, early Big Star crunch; lyrical nonsequiturs that snip through sense.

This gleamingly remastered, double CD edition adds 32 extras including outtakes, live cuts, BBC sessions and B sides. Like a stoner Jonathan Richman, Stephen Malkmus plays the merry fool, from musings on Geddy Lee’s speaking voice on “Stereo” to the almost De La Soul-like scat on “Blue Hawaiian”. In another universe, “Shady Lane” and “Type Slowly” might have made hit singles; as it is, this slice of weird-rock from a more contented American decade is playful and preposterous in equal measure.


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