Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks: Real Emotional Trash

Music Reviews Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
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Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks: Real Emotional Trash

Now a 41-year-old father of two, Stephen Malkmus has settled into a comfortable mid-career groove, avoiding self-parody and creative complacency with a series of albums that have explored his inner guitar geek while toning down his impish charm. With Real Emotional Trash, he proves he can retain both, leaving behind the controlled one-man-band environment of 2005’s Face the Truth and issuing his most eclectic and unpredictable album yet. With former Sleater- Kinney drummer Janet Weiss anchoring a muscular rhythm section, Malkmus has a Jicks worthy of his trust, and he plays with more imagination and whimsy than he has since his playful 2001 solo debut, spinning yarns about murder mysteries, and unfurling marathon guitar solos. Here, all the influences that have percolated below the surface of his body of work burst forth, as Malkmus presides over a classic- rock parallel universe where Black Sabbath doom ri½s rub up against Grateful Dead boogies and Bostonaping pop anthems, with prog-rock detours and multi-section epics thrown in for good measure.

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