Brighten the Corners Reissued

“Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition” (Pavement)

Matador Records is re-issuing Brighten the Corners, Pavement’s penultimate album, with a second disc of goodies, and more.

Our latest edition of Buy Early Get Now is perennial favorite, Pavement’s classic album Brighten The Corners!

Buy Early Get Now and receive the 2 CD deluxe edition in an embossed and die-cut slipcase, with a 62-page perfect-bound book AND a stream of the album, two bonus tracks and a whole vinyl LP containing an unreleased live show. That’s right. A free LP if you Buy Early Get Now. The bonus live LP was recorded during the first Brighten tour and scheduled for release as OLE-324 in July 1998, but was then shelved… until now.

[From Matador Records ]

I assume this bonus LP will eventually be released in the future in other formats, but maybe not.1

Pavement is intertwined with my memories of the 1990s, they were by far my favorite contemporary band, eclipsing even the mighty Sonic Youth who had already started their decline by then. Pavement rewards multiple, concentrated listening, their lyrics were comprised of obtuse bits of American indie subculture, and whatever else was on our bookshelves. In my own iTunes rating scheme five songs are classics, 4 star songs that are always included on my iPod2.

Clicking around to read contemporary reviews of the album, stumbled on this gem from Pitchfork. I imagine the reviewer3 smoking a big bowl of something interesting, and then being unable to write anything coherent about an album he loved, but still typing something anyway on his laptop. Err, or something. I simply don’t know what you are implying.

Still shocking the music world with their wacky, off-kilter brand of music, Pavement come back hard in 1997 with Brighten The Corners. Having never released an album that was even remotely bad, Pavement continue to awe with songs like “Shady Lane” and “We are Underused.” Yeah, it’s a fact. Stephen Malkmus and company pretty much got it goin’ on.

When this disc opens with “Stereo,” you’re immediately compelled to grin. And grin you do. For the duration of the album. A natural high, the tracks roll on. “Transport is Arranged,” “Date With Ikea,” “Old to Begin.” Each one somehow ultimately more awesome than the last. Stuck in a joyous stupor, your only option is to go limp and let the music move you.

Luckily, the disc ends and after a few minutes of continued incapacitation and twitching, you’re able to move again. Best not put it on repeat.

Actually, Robert Christgau wasn’t much deeper in his rave:

Brighten the Corners [Matador, 1997]

Mature or die is the whole of the law. So of course there’s no longer much insurgency in their ill-mannered sounds, now deployed to serenade a self-sustaining subculture and celebrate a band’s collective success. Moderate tempos that once breathed psychedelic wooze turn reflective if not thoughtful as lyrics reference the material emoluments of middle-class life. Yet it’s still exciting, because it isn’t dragged under by the nagging disappointments that generally dull such music (and security). As convinced ironists, Pavement never expected anything else. Closure is a chimera–they’ll drink to that. Onetime insurgent Thelonious Monk–they’ll drink to him, too. A man known for his brilliant corners. A

At least neither reviewer4 uses the word, angular.

  1. Only available directly from Matador, not the Amazon link, btw []
  2. Stereo; Blue Hawaiian; We are Underused; Starlings of the Slipstream; and Fin, in case you were curious []
  3. Ryan Schreiber []
  4. nor myself, up until this point. Doh!! []

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