Monday, 31 March 2008

Real Emotional Trash - Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Is there anybody (with good taste) out there who hasn't yet stumbled across the Album of the Year thus far? Well consider yourself informed - Real Emotional Trash is it. I haven't really followed Malkmus' post-Pavement career, and although I liked Pavement I also never got really into them as a band. But I'm seriously in love with Real Emotional Trash. Thankfully, it's about alot more than Malkmus' unique and infectious vocals and lyrics - this is an epic and legendary album, and one that rewards repeated listening. Indeed, like many of my favourite all-time albums, I wasn't overly impressed on the first spin - I had an inkling of it, but it wasn't until a few end-to-end sessions that I really felt it properly.

It's getting rarer and rarer these days to here albums that stand alone as a unit, and that need to be treated as a whole rather than a series of "hits" and "B-sides". This is a return to the album as an art-form.

I've never been very good at describing music, which makes me very bad at reviews and even worse at pigeon-holing into genres. The Rolling Stone's review seems to be more than a little over the top, but here's some of the description used there, to give you an idea:
  • a fantastic psychedelic feast, full of cosmic guitar crackle and electric piano and batshit poetry
  • a full-body baptism in John Cipollina's bong water
  • "Elmo Delmo" fuses the Grateful Dead's "Cryptical Envelopment" with Sonic Youth's "Karen Koltrane."
I'm not sure if I agree with all that, but I can say for sure that this album is definitely worth checking out.


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