Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: LA

Reviewed by: Bjorn Randolph
Reviewed on: 2004-11-19

Posted 11/19/2004 - 11:10:44 PM by downloadsofist:
 the best rock album in ten years merits a 7?
Posted 11/20/2004 - 09:44:09 AM by bj_randolph:
 oh no, i'd give the original album a 10 (and did; talk to my editor). the 7 is for the entire reissue package, in particular the extra tracks, packaging, liner notes, etc. i guess you could say that if the original came out like this i would have given it a 7 and written a review that said "the first 12 tracks are unbelievably good, but the rest is hit-or-miss, too much filler, should've been a single disc," etc. or maybe even a lower grade if it was released as a standalone album; one ought to judge material presented as outtakes with slightly lowered expectations, no? interesting you bring this up, 'fist. the merits of grading albums in the reviews is an issue of constant debate amongst the stylus staff. reissues seem to present their own subset of unique problems on top of the universal ones. any suggestions are as always, welcome.
Posted 11/20/2004 - 09:53:11 AM by downloadsofist:
 i hear you...but considering you're not paying extra for the extra material (and don't you think the packaing and notes were good?) I don't think it's fair to grade this as if it was a new double cd album. it sound like you feel it would be improved if it were only the original album, and by your criteria any 'bonus' reissue would inevitably be considered worse than the original package. i enjoyed your review in any case, so not sure why i'm quibbling about the rating.
Posted 11/20/2004 - 12:09:28 PM by florenz6:
 The best rock album in ten years?? Oh, no, please. This Pavement opus deserves a 6.0, and that´s it! Here are some really better "rock albums" that have been released since 1994: the latest three albums from Radiohead (don´t mind do call them rock), Robert Wyatt´s "Cuckooland" (don´t mind to call it rock at the border) Björk´s "Homogenic" and, yes,em,"Medulla" (i has rocking parts, a least); Wilco´s "A Ghost is Born" (which is a killing rock album); Daniel Lanois´ "Shine" (which is more rollin´than rockin; but so what?); all works from Tom Waits since "Mule Variations" - and now the surprise for the research for heavily rocking things from 1994 : "The Fall of Us All" from guitarist Steve Tibbetts is an uplifting instrumenatl rock album with heavy influences from music form the far east (the kebyar school of gamelan etc). In fact, Pavement is okay and even much better than this year´s ridiculously overrated "Franz Ferdinand". But it has lost a bit of magic after all these years, I think.
Posted 11/20/2004 - 03:45:48 PM by furiousgeorge:
 nice work florenz, youve taken namedropping to a whole new level
Posted 11/21/2004 - 01:56:41 PM by sekaer:
 Hey Florenz, all those records you just named (Tom Waits stopped delivering after Rain Dogs) are TERRIBLE...Pavement opus a 6.0? Add 2 and then you're gettin there
Posted 11/21/2004 - 02:16:26 PM by bj_randolph:
 'fist: yeah, the package is pretty cool, i like the cutouts; the liner notes are ok but not particularly revealing. as for treating the set as a new double album, i'm not; in fact i was consciously avoiding that; as i said, i would probably have given it a lower grade in that case (though that really isn't worth spending too much effort speculating about). my point is, i like having the opportunity to hear the extra material, and now that i have i've gotta say that it just isn't that great; a year from now, are you really gonna throw on that second disc, or are you gonna listen to the original when you get a hankerin' for some pave? contrast the extras here to the ones on the S+E reissue: even though little (none? i can't remember offhand) of it was previously unavailable, it was just better stuff. hell, i'd give that one a 9 or 10. thanks for the complement by the way, and i don't think your quibbling is frivolous.
Posted 11/21/2004 - 07:57:44 PM by IanMathers:
 I'd give CRCR as is at least an 8, more likely a 9 (_maybe_ a 10). I can't imagine Pavement's b-sides, live tracks and outtakes being so good as to boost or keep that rating, because for me quantity only rarely trumps quality. I actually tend to prefer non-special editions, because in most cases I want the album and not the extra crap that gets tossed on. There are exceptions, of course, but it doesn't seem like these Pavement reissues would be one for me.
Posted 11/24/2004 - 10:15:51 AM by seligb:
 "so good they named it twice", as someone once said
Posted 11/24/2004 - 11:36:19 PM by milliard:
 haha. original album: 10. and i'm really glad they did this, but, before i'd buy the souped up rerelease of the album, i'd buy a copy of the original on vinyl. now is that snobbery or poor eye-sight?
Posted 01/20/2005 - 07:43:15 PM by patient:
 i ran into a similar prob. when reading some reviews of the reissue of the moon and antarctica. i thought 'why the crap are they giving it a 7 because of bonus tracks and diff packagin??' of course, i realized that it was remastered or something, so the sound it a seven. i actually dont have the original release of that and cant compare them myself, but does anyone know what the difference was? also, was this pavement cd remastered or anything? oh, and florenz6, your name-dropping rampage had nothing to support it, especially when u mention a ghost is born as being better than pavement, el oh el.
Posted 01/21/2005 - 08:41:53 AM by scottw:
 For non-initiated fans I copy the original CRCR album, as they're likely to have no interest in the other stuff (and as a big fan, I can't say I'll be listening to disc 2 very often). Ianmathers nails this concept; when I bought forever changes--one of the best new (to me) albums I've acquired over the past few years--I burned the original tracklisting before selling my "expanded reissue" on ebay, because all the shit they added on was worthless. Seems to happen with re-issues all the time, though the double-disc S&E; is extremely valuable to a fan-but-not-fetishist-collector like myself.