Indie rock, which is a very broad and wide-open term, was represented by the debut release from the band Pavement on “Slanted and Enchanted”. As I do with each album, particularly those I don’t know well, I make sure to give it several listens before rendering an opinion. Even though this album is widely praised, as the #199 album on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and even the band and their main creative force Stephen Malkmus, who plays lead guitar and covers lead vocals, also consider it to be their best album, it falls a bit flat for me. I tried several times, but struggled to find much here that will stay with me long-term.
The first two songs are the singles from the album, “Summer Babe (Winter Version)” and “Trigger Cut/Wounded-Kite At :17”. With a blend of punk-grunge grind and off-melody vocals, the music is very unique and mildly entertaining, but I just don’t personally hear the hooks that make me want to listen again. The second track has an opening that reminds me of “Back in the Saddle” by Aerosmith, but that is merely an observation and not an expression of interest.
Like every album, I can still find a few favorites from the mix, and I do like “Zurich is Stained” with its more mellow flavor. “Here” is a bit darker but still a more compelling melody, and also near the top of my favorite tracks on this record. I like and appreciate their lack of conformity, and on “Here” in particular, you hear the roots of Lou Reed coming through in each note and verse.
Through the course of 500+ albums, you aren’t going to love everyone, but I don’t hate it either, and I’m glad I found a few moments to recall and add to my mix. The music of the day matches the weather and mood on a gray Thursday, with the anticipation for more sunshine and light ahead.