Thursday, May 10, 2012

210 Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain- Pedestrian access.

Album: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Artist: Pavement
Genre: Alternative Rock
Year: 1994


  1. Silence Kid
  2. Elevate Me Later
  3. Stop Breathin'
  4. Cut Your Hair
  5. Newark Wilder
  6. Unfair
  7. Gold Soundz
  8. 5-4=Unity
  9. Range Life
  10. Heaven Is a Truck
  11. Hit the Plane Down
  12. Fillmore Jive

I've been wondering for a while if Rolling Stone Magazine are going to revise their top 500 list at any point in the future. The list I'm working through was compiled in 2003 which would make next year a logical year to do the whole thing again. There would be a new decade to include releases from- 10 more years of Radiohead albums to gush over which would force a few people out of the charts. No doubt we could still predict which band would win and the top 100 would look fairly similar but there could be some huge changes down at the bottom end.

One artist whose future I wonder about are American alternative rockers Pavement. When the original compilers of this list were handing in their submissions the term "alternative" meant something. We knew what it was an alternative to. Today the word is just a marketing term and when Wallmart can list Nickleback as Alternative Rock you know it's time to put the phrase out of its misery.

In 2003 Pavement looked like they were part of a genre but viewed today they feel like they were at the death of something that was kind of meaningless anyway. They're not really alternative anymore they're just rock and it's hard to know what they bring to the table. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain doesn't feel especially revolutionary and life changing. It's fairly meat-and-potatoes, guitar-bass-drums rock and roll without the virtuoso flair that would put any of the musicians on any top 100 listing of their instrument's practitioners. The lyrics contain the sort of obtuse imagery you'd expect from an album that not only uses the meaningless phrase "Crooked rain" in its title it uses it twice. Vocals are the sort of inaccessible grating that any self-respecting alternate rocker has to use and the over-all effect is enough to scare your grandmother and make your father sniff and declare them not as good as The Stones.

There are those who love it but will they still adore it as much as 2013 and will they love it more than anything else released in the last 10 years? Personally I'd have to put together about 20 top 500 albums lists before I'd include this in even the bottom reaches.

Influenced by: The Band
Influenced: Other Bands

Highlight: Cut Your Hair
Lowlight: Ranger Life

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "You are in the presence of greatness"

-Are they talking about the album or their own review?

So are you happy to take the pavement or are they a bit too pedestrian? Let me know below.


  1. No, they are not pedestrian. Listening to this album in particular, 18 years after it was released still sounds fresh to this day. First of all, the melodies are as strong as ever, the band sounds as tight and as cohesive as they will ever be, the melodies are still as strong as ever, and, most of all, it has a groove. To be honest, Pavement is not a band that you would get right away. They kind of have to grow on you, like a pair of converses! Give it time, don't take it too seriously, and let it become part of your life! (Great summer album btw!)

  2. I do have this album on my list of releases I plan to return to when I have more listening time. Maybe my view will change in the not too distant future.

  3. Also, do you have the "L.A.'s Desert Origins" deluxe edition of this album? If so what do you think of it? The reason why I ask this is because the various Pavement deluxe editions have become critically acclaimed in their own right, and to my knowledge, are considered to be essentially some of the best deluxe editions around, right up there with the Radiohead Collector's Editions of their first six albums. So, tell me: what are your thoughts on the deluxe editions (if you have them)?

    1. I wasn't aware there was a deluxe edition until you drew my attention to it. I looked it up and I have to say I'm very impressed. I've often thought a lot of deluxe editions are a cheap way of trying to get die-hard fans to fork out again for an album they already own but that's amazing. 37 extra songs is a very impressing deluxe edition.

      I don't have the deluxe editions of the Radiohead albums because I had all the bonus tracks already on some bootlegs but they were definitely good releases as well.

    2. They are also generally sold at a reasonable value for the price you pay. Usually, I can get them for $20-25. The good value is an especially positive aspect of the reissues, since they effectively put the old CDs out of print in favour of the deluxe editions, making collecting their back catalogue more reasonable in terms of cost. This is unlike the recent Suede or Kinks deluxe editions which also replaced the old CDs, but, though they are good deluxe editions, they usually cost over $30, making the process of collecting their back catalogues rather expensive and therefore more frustrating.