Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Slanted & Enchanted
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Two smart young college guys with a bunch of catchy, cryptic songs and a taste for peculiar sonics go into a studio with a showboating older drummer and come out with one of the definitive indie-rock albums. Beneath its c... more »
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Two smart young college guys with a bunch of catchy, cryptic songs and a taste for peculiar sonics go into a studio with a showboating older drummer and come out with one of the definitive indie-rock albums. Beneath its coils of raw distortion and screaming-for-the-hell-of-it, Pavement's first full-length disc gets over on the strength of stellar songwriting and ingenious melodicism. Sometimes Steve Malkmus's sly, evocative word-games reveal genuine emotion ("Here"), and sometimes they just pay tribute to his favorite bands ("Conduit For Sale!" is a nod to the Fall), but these songs are unconventional in a way that set the convention for bands that came after them. --Douglas Wolk
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Like an old shoe...
wei | Chicago | 10/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Slanted and Enchanted" has never easily fit comfortably in its classic status, like a sweater a size too big. No matter how much music critics champion "Slanted and Enchanted" as one of the greatest albums of the 90s, even if Time magazine slapped Pavement on their cover and called "Slanted and Enchanted" the most important record of the 90s, it's never going to belong to the shining pantheon with its brighter, better-produced big brothers. My guess is that "Slanted and Enchanted" isn't going to appear in any local neighborhood jukeboxes anytime soon. I was compelled to write this review, on my amusement that 13 years later, the album is still eliciting such strong reactions on both sides. The people who dislike the album claim that, "Slanted and Enchanted" is a case of the emperor having no clothes, and anyone who likes it is just trying to be "cool." How do you respond to a criticism like that? It's hard because "Slanted and Enchanted" has become so ingrained in my bones, so entrenched in memory and summer nostalgia, so integral to shaping my eventual musical tastes, that it would be like putting myself on the stand.
Prosecutor: Why do you listen to this album? Is it because everyone says it's cool?
"No, I just -"
Prosector: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Bad production. Unimpressive lead singer. Do we really need to go on? Where were you when the album came out?
"Well, I mean I didn't buy the album until -"
Prosector: A-ha! This man was under the influence of critical acclaim.
"Well yeah of course, but I really do like-"
Prosector: I think we've heard enough.
As cliche as this will sound, "Slanted and Enchanted" is one of those albums that just takes some time to warm up to. When you first get Pavement, it's like switching from a pair of cushioned running shoes to a pair of Chuck Taylors, no support, uncomfortable, stiff - but once you break them in, you wonder how you ever got by without them, how easily you slip and out of them, and how good they look dirty and beat-up. Likewise, "Slanted and Enchanted"'s sound quality is dirty and scuffed, unlike the clean mastered recordings of other classic albums. That's just part of the album's idiosyncratic charm. More listens will reveal melodies kind of floating just underneath the surface. They are never obvious, except for maybe the acoustic "here" which is probably why even the bad reviews have praised this song. In the end, "Slanted and Enchanted" is really just a product of its time - the sound of a bunch of irreverent kids from California who wanted to have fun and make music. It never asked to be a classic. But no one knew, that in turn a bunch of other kids knew exactly how they felt."
One of the most influential albums out there...
Blue Suede Schmooze | Victoria, B.C. | 12/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Slanted and Enchanted is the second best album of the decade. It is a strange album that is at once both off-putting and embracing, abrasive and soft, absurd and totally sublime. Back when Stephen malkmus and Spiral Stairs were a couple of young 20 somethings, recording in the garage-turned-studio of '60's acid casualty (and intitial drummer) Gary Young, these were the seeds of Slanted and Enchanted.Kicking things off with the fuzzy brilliance of "Summer babe", the album presents song after song of perfect pop numbers (In the Mouth a Desert), static-filled freak outs (No Life Singed her), and Fall-inspired ranting (Conduit For Sale!). In The mOuth a Desert's lyric "Can You Treat it like an oil well / when it's underground, out of sight?" seems to caputre the whole essence of the early '90's indie-rock boom. And indeed, Slanted... inspired its own share of imitators and indie bands. Slanted signaled the start of a musical career for Pavement that has consistently topped most of the other albums coming out. Though they are slowly slipping into more conservative territory, we can always revel in Slanted's enchanted brilliance."
An indie rock classic
darkagez | Montreal, Canada | 09/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pavement's debut album marked the beginning of one of the best guitar-rock bands to have emerged in the 90s. But it goes further than that: quite simply, it is a masterpiece of its genre, an idiosyncratic record which has been endlessly imitated by other underground bands, yet never bettered.While later releases displayed either their calmer ("Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain", "Brighten The Corners") or wackier side ("Wowee Zowee"), they haven't managed to surpass their debut in terms of creativity and (especially) fun. And really, there is no other way to describe the overall sound of this record.On the surface, the band's lyrics and songs seem to revel in their own amateurishness, dismissing any respect for the typical rock aesthetic. But don't be fooled by this uncaring attitude, Pavement crafted a set of witty, chaotic pop songs which are revealed, with time, as surprisingly complex compositions, justifying every blast of noise and every unconventional melody present in the mix.Standouts include "Summer Babe (Winter Version)", a catchy, accessible tune which fittingly opens the record, "In The Mouth A Desert", and "Here", an unexpectedly emotional song which stands as the only exception to an otherwise irreverent album."Slanted & Enchanted" is an essential LP of our era, and one of those CDs that will visibly grow on you. Just make sure you don't judge it after the first listen."