Album Review – Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks


Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks -‘Mirror Traffic.’ (Domino)

Three years since his last album under his own name, Real Emotional Trash, and a Pavement reunion later, Stephen Malkmus is back with his new album. And it’s great. Hallelujah!

What this album demonstrates is that – now amazingly aged forty-five – our hero has two awesome talents in particular. More often than not used together: a masterful grasp of the leftfield pop tune, and a way with a wonderfully nonsensical lyric. With regards to the latter, my favourite has got to be ‘One of us is a cigar stand/and the other a lovely blue incandescent guillotine’ (from ‘Type Slowly’ off Pavement’s Brighten The Corners), though I guess everyone’s got their own favourite.

In terms of lyrics to be remembered from this album I suspect it’s going to be the rather more straightforward ‘I know what the Senator wants/what the Senator wants is a blowjob’ from ‘Senator’. This is going to be changed to ‘corndog’ for the radio edit, apparently. The aforementioned ‘Senator’ and album opener ‘Tigers’ have already be doing the rounds as free mp3s ahead of the album’s release, They give a good example of how great the album is, as do ‘No One Is (As I Are Be)’ and ‘Forever 28.’

It’s now nearly twenty years since Pavement’s awesome debut Slanted and Enchanted. If it were ever doubted, Malkmus is more than just a mere Fall plagiarist, he is rightly revered as a legend on the indie scene and beyond.’


Mirror Traffic is out now on Domino

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Senator by DominoRecordCo

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