Why is Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
The band that I feel I should really like more but… erases the but.
Some stats & info about Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Noise Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #434
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain released? 1994
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #688 out of 1,000
Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
For many years, Pavement remained at the very top of my “I really feel like I should like this band more but…” And part of the “but” was that I never took the time to fully explore their stuff.
I mentioned the compilation album No Alternative recently, and I’m sure it’ll come up again (spoiler alert!) because it’s really great. The Pavement song, “Unseen Power of the Picket Fence,” is on that album, and it’s the song that helped “unlock” Pavement a little bit. Sometimes a song or a part of a song – like a chorus – will do that for an artist or band. Something will click and all of the sudden you “get” them and you like that you get them and you eagerly want more.
“Unseen Power of the Picket Fence” is kind of a weird song, but I liked that it’s mostly about what the band thinks about R.E.M. (one of my most favorite bands, now and then) but then it’s also about the Civil War, somehow, and there’s a loud part about Sherman marching through Georgia near the end.
As I really and finally got down to figuring out Pavement, I realized that I do like this band “more.” And especially so when they lean into their poppiest alt rock side, as on “Cut Your Hair,” off of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. The “ooh oohs” at the top of the track alone grab me every time.
“Range Life” throws a little country rock twang into the quirky alt rock mix, and the outcome is an earnest, even pretty Pavement song. Even the most “conventional” Pavement song automatically becomes quirky thanks to Stephen Malkmus’ unconventional voice and delivery, and that’s almost always a good thing.
I love that “5-4=Unity” vamps into strange-oid jazz rock territory meets wacko experimental rock. It’s two minutes of instrumental music that I very much dig.
“Unfair” is a more conventional, grunge-y alt rocker and it rocks out just fine.