Brighten The Corners
The previous Pavement albums were all brimming with ideas, so the straightforward nature of Brighten The Corners is disarming at first. The sound is often stripped down, and it’s a less intense musical experience. With less going on, it’s up to the album’s melodies to hold attention, and when there isn’t a strong tune it can be dull.
Malkmus gets off one of his most memorable lines in on the opener ‘Stereo’; “What about the voice of Geddy Lee/How did it get so high?/I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?/(I know him and he does!)/And you’re my fact-checkin’ cuz.” ‘Shady Lane’ is a pretty tune, and ‘Starlings of the Slipsteam’ is tuneful and surging. Kannberg’s two songs stand out as rawer and more urgent than Malkmus’ work here, and ‘Date w/ Ikea’ and ‘Passat Dream’ are two of the best tracks on Brighten The Corners.
There are some strong songs on Brighten The Corners, but it’s difficult not to be disappointed by the more relaxed feel after three albums that were among the decade’s finest.