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Number 3 of 500: Pavement – Wowee Zowee

February 22, 2010

BAND: PAVEMENT
ALBUM: WOWEE ZOWEE
LABEL: MATADOR RECORDS
DATE RELEASED: APRIL 11th 1995

Wowee Zowee is rumored to be Pavement’s first in studio album, even if it is their third full length release. Many people were upset with the record, saying Pavement purposely failed because of fear of becoming corporate rock. Perhaps, “Fight this Generation”  spoke of an actual fear of selling out. Cheating and comparing the two after this album, one would beg to differ of accused failure. “We Dance”  and “Father To a Sister of Thought” both could easily fit on the next album, Brighten the Corners. Some say this is Pavement’s last great record, and at points, one can agree.  This album does bring the forth a beautiful combination of the past and future for the band.  One can say this was Malkmus’s defined style, because you can hear similar styles in his later work with the Jicks.  In a 1997 review for the release of Brighten the Corners, Malkmus revealed poet John Ashbery being a big influence on his lyrics, where in Wowee Zowee you can certainly hear it, for example in songs like “Rattle by the Rush” or “Grave Architecture”.  Wowee Zowee is a mess of emotional states,  from pure mellowness  in “Motion Suggests Itself” to the anxiety of “Flux = Rad”.  Whether the kids liked it or not, Wowee Zowee is perhaps Pavement’s finest defined moment.

A personal note regarding the album: The first review I ever wrote was Wowee Zowee in 1995. I had to make a newspaper for my middle school class, and in it we needed do an entertainment piece. So I thought it would be cool to write a record review about the new Pavement record.  If I only I knew where that article was, but if I find it, I’ll post it.

RM CRESSER © 2010 500 Rad Records

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