Post Pavement reunion, the Jicks seemed like a lesser dear. Who's going to want to listen to any 21st century Stephen Malkmus when you can still visit the old, beloved one? But he's had steady jams as a solo band leader—"Church on White" certainly ranks among the best of Pavement's work. Now's he's back with his first solo album after the reunion, Mirror Traffic. Beck produced it, and his occasional lofi country twinge shows up. But it's less than two minutes into the album until Malkmus' trademark raspy yell shows up, same as it ever once. "Senator" is a highlight, as is the pretty punk closer "Spazz." Someone get Rollins to produce the next one—maybe he can just cycle through legends and see what happens.
August 15, 2011