Top Ten Songs by Pavement

With a rather diverse range of indie rock music at their disposal, Pavement has a lot of different kinds of fans. Some like their straight out distortion rock, while others mainly like their slower songs. Then there are even more people who like their more standard pop rock style stuff. Fortunately for me, I like almost everything that they’ve made. However, there are ten tracks that stand out the most for me and I’d like to share them with you.

10. “… and Carrot Rope” off of Terror Twilight
This Pavement song probably displays the kind of humor that they threw into their songs best. With more band members getting a chance to sing through a kind of musical conversation, Pavement proves that they don’t take themselves all that seriously. It also helps that the song is ridiculously catchy and uses some great guitar effects that I’d wish I’d see in more songs.

9. “Cut Your Hair” off of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Perhaps the most popular Pavement song is “Cut Your Hair.” Despite the fact that Pavement was on an indie label, the catchy tune broke through to the mainstream and actually played on some radio stations. There was also a music video that sometimes even got played on MTV. Although the song wasn’t my first introduction to the band, it likely created many Pavement fans as the song is filled with irony and relates to the topic of a musician’s image.

8. “Type Slowly” off of Brighten the Corners
“Type Slowly” is one of the longest Pavement songs and really creates a good atmosphere. The song is a slow yet catchy rock song but it has some intricate touches that not many other musicians would add to make it better. The lyrics don’t make all that much sense to me, but there’s a certain honest charm to it that makes me truly appreciate it.

7. “Trigger Cut” off of Slanted & Enchanted
“Trigger Cut” is a single off of Pavement’s first album and has a great blend of distorted and alternative rock mixed with a poppy vibe. However, the catchiness that the song has is probably not very noticeable at first listen because of the unique, messy style that Pavement perfected.

6. “Major Leagues” off of Terror Twilight
“Major Leagues” is another one of Pavement’s slower songs. The song just has such a positive sentimental feel to it and some amazing guitar work. It’s quite surprising that the same band that first released a heavy distorted album later came up with this kind of calm and mellow work. Their musical talent is still very apparent in this song, despite the various changes in genres they’ve experimented around with.

5. “Summer Babe” off of Slanted & Enchanted
This was the first song I heard from Pavement and at first, I actually wasn’t all that impressed. I thought the quality of the recording could have been better and the guitar sounded a little too messy. However, I saw myself going back to the song again and again over time. The melodic distortion and unique vocal style captivated me. Over time the tune got more and more catchy, despite its messiness, which almost feels intentional.

4. “Range Life” off of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
The second most popular Pavement song likely goes to “Range Life.” The single was actually more known for its lyrical content than it was for its melody or anything else. Unfortunately, the song is actually really good and almost has a country tinge to it. The controversy comes over a few lines which seem to be dissing two more popular bands, the Smashing Pumpkins and the Stone Temple Pilots. Singer Stephen Malkmus says that the song is sung through the eyes of an aging hippie and I actually believe him. If you listen to the rest of the lyrics you’ll likely also think the song didn’t mean to have any cruel intentions towards the other bands.

3. “Here” off of Slanted & Enchanted
This is another one of Pavement’s more honest and slower songs. The song has a rather sad vibe to it, but it’s so brutally truthful that I don’t mind it. To be honest, not much happens in the song, so I guess it’s one of those “love it or hate it” kind of tunes. If you like the melody and care for the vibe that they were going for, you might end up really liking it like I do.

2. “Date with IKEA” off of Brighten the Corners
“Date with IKEA” is one of Pavement’s most accessible songs due to its catchy tune and since it has a more standard rock formula than their other songs. However, it sets itself apart by still having that Pavement flair with some nice distorted touches. The song kind of reminds me of the 1990s in general and the great music that came out of that decade.

1. “AT&T” off of Wowee Zowee
This is probably my favorite Pavement songs because it seems to define both sides of Pavement. Although the song starts out rather calm like their slower songs, it’s able to transition into one of their more rocking songs while still being very noisy yet catchy. The song also has some great lyrics in it, although I still can’t understand everything Malkmus means. Of course, that’s just the way he likes it.

Although Pavement disbanded shortly after releasing their fifth album in 1999, they left several hours worth of fantastic music that I continue to listen to very often. Fortunatley, Stephen Malkmus, the main singer and guitarist of the group, is actually still recording and making music under his band known as The Jicks.

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