Pavement - Brighten The Corners (Nicene Credence Edition) CD Review (Matador) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, January 02, 2009

Pavement - Brighten The Corners (Nicene Credence Edition) CD Review (Matador)

PAvement - Brighten The Corners (Nicene Credence Edition) CD ReviewMatador's reissue of Pavement's fourth CD, Brighten The Corners, allows you to really get a different perspective on the original CD.

The original twelve track CD seemed pretty focused and mellow after its sprawling predecessor, Wowee Zowee. The deluxe edition of Brighten the Corners adds thirty-two bonus tracks that includes outtakes, b-sides, live material and radio sessions. There are reinterpretations of material from Brighten the Corners and early versions of songs that would ultimately make it onto Terror Twilight and the Major Leagues EP. These bonus tracks give this disc the open and loose sound of its predecessors and add a bit of extra life and context to the original twelve tracks.

Brighten The Corners has aged well and the original singles from this release, “Stereo” and “Shady Lane”, still sound fresh. Giving a fresh listen to this CD, Spiral Stairs' songs, "Date w/ IKEA" and "Passat Dream", should have also been hits and both seemed to miss their time. "Date w/IKEA" has that California pysch-pop feel that Matthew Sweet has been mining over his last few releases and "Passat Dream" sounds like something that could have come from The Strokes or one of the other current day indie-rock bands.

I can't think of any word to describe the thirty-two bonus tracks other than "eclectic". The bonus tracks include two extra versions of "Type Slowly" - a countrified up-tempo version renamed "Slowly Type" and a live version from the Tibet Freedom Festival. There are two versions of an early version of "The Hexx" (then named "And Then") - an extended studio version and a live Peel Session. There are covers of The Fall's "The Classical" and Echo and the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon" (both songs were later re-recorded for the band's final EP - Major Leagues) along with a cover of the Clean. Pavement fans will likely wonder why "Harness Your Hopes" (which is included as both a b-side and a Peel Session recording) got regulated to b-side status as the music and Stephen Malkmus' lyrical wordplay seems to hold up well against the disc's original twelve tracks. Fittingly, this set ends on a shambolic note with two takes on the Space Ghost Theme, both of which were recorded in Boston's WFNX Studios on February 12, 1997.

Going back to 1997, here is the Spike Jonze directed video for "Shady Lane":