Stephen Malkmus' new Beck-produced album, Mirror Traffic, doesn't hit stores till August 23, but if you are on the fence about whether or not you will be picking it up at any of the Valley record stores who will be likely be stocking it, "Tiger" and "Senator," the two songs hosted by the folks over at Matador may just persuade you make up your mind.
I've really loved the post-Pavement output of Malkmus (especially 2008's Real Emotional Trash), but Mirror Traffic is simply bad-ass. It's cliche to call it the most "Pavementy" of his solo records, but screw it -- it totally is.
According to Matador's site, one journalist who received an early copy stated: "I respect his right to make any record he wants, but this is the album that me and a lot of other people have waited 10 years for," and hot damn if those aren't my exact thoughts.
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Beck's production, like his work on Thurston Moore's Demolished Thoughts, finds him perfectly simpatico with Malkmus. "Tune Grief" nastily raves, "Asking Price" showcases Malkmus' beautiful guitar-work, and "Stick Figures in Love" may be my favorite pop tune the dude has ever written.
The two singles, "Senator" and "Tigers," are classic Malkmus, with the tricky wordplay and laid-back sensibility that made Malkmus' name. I wouldn't be surprised if this album ends up all over year-end lists. Pretty sure it will end up on mine.