Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe and Reduxe (Matador)

Pavement 

Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe and Reduxe (Matador)

When Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted was released in April 1992, it didn't create a revolution of Nirvanic proportions. Instead, it generated a quiet storm that was just as influential, if not as sexy and dramatic. Slanted helped popularize lo-fi slacker rock, influencing everything from Beck and Liz Phair right up to the Strokes and Weezer. With 48 tracks filling two CDs, the ten-year anniversary edition is crammed with more extras than Ben Affleck's trailer, including an assortment of outtakes, B-sides, Peel sessions and an entire live show.

The original Slanted still sounds like a brilliant, befuddled mess. It was Pavement's only full-length with acid-casualty first drummer Gary Young, whose sloppy snare work and cheesy mustache did wonders to counter the band's buttoned-up demeanor. (Young is paid ample tribute in a series of hilarious photos strewn throughout the set's sixty-page booklet.) But the haphazard aural clutter was somewhat contrived -- Slanted was cobbled together in the studio, often one instrument at a time -- mostly by guitarist Scott Kannberg and frontman Stephen Malkmus, whose verbose, bone-dry delivery and sardonic lyrics (I saw your girlfriend/And she's eating her fingers/Like they're just another meal) would become Pavement's calling card. The seven songs that make up the Watery, Domestic sessions document the band's move toward the slightly more accessible stance it would eventually adopt, but the thirteen-song live set captures the ripening enigma at its laconic best.

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