• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: May 24, 2005
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35

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  1. GergR
    Jun 8, 2005
    10
    All the rubbish I've read about this being a return to old form tends to miss the true mark of FTT's pedigree. SM the anti-star speaks very for an American and who else can use the word elucidate twice on one album
  2. christopherh
    Oct 6, 2005
    9
    malkmus soloing hist heart out, i can only hope for more.
  3. EoinS
    Jun 24, 2005
    9
    Most coherent album. the "we are just animals" of "Pig Lib" not as well thought out as the "can't decide if i love or loathe the banality" on "face the truth". "No more shoes" prompts the question did he get a minister to call him a groom?
  4. najeeba
    Dec 2, 2005
    10
    Those fans that claim to be true followers, but do not appreciate this album, obviously aren't his true followers. This is Malkmus at his best, it's most reminiscent of Pavement, but only in that it's ambitious, carefree, pretentious, and weirdly experimental. it's poppy and perfect, exactly what us true fans have been waiting for him to put out as a solo artist.
  5. LukasG
    May 24, 2005
    10
    KICK ASS!
  6. V.Z.
    May 24, 2005
    9
    Malkmus has never been closer to Pavement in his solo career, and yet, it is still different from Pavement. He has definitely matured, the lyrics, while still weird, are deepe, honest, and perhaps for the first time, almost autobiographical. Musically we get a bit of Crooked Rain, Wowee Zowee and Pig Lib, with some new styles mixed in. The opener "Pencil Rot" is something Malkmus has Malkmus has never been closer to Pavement in his solo career, and yet, it is still different from Pavement. He has definitely matured, the lyrics, while still weird, are deepe, honest, and perhaps for the first time, almost autobiographical. Musically we get a bit of Crooked Rain, Wowee Zowee and Pig Lib, with some new styles mixed in. The opener "Pencil Rot" is something Malkmus has never done before, and the hand-made dance number "Kindling for the Master" is wonderfully retarded. Other highlights are the sincere sounding "Freeze the Saints", the innocent "Mama" and the closer "Malediction". Expand
  7. Ahh!!!!!!Huh????
    May 24, 2005
    9
    This album kicks ass! But it was the only Malkmus album that had to grow on me. Pencil Rot has the best ficticious villain in a song in years, No More Shoes is the 1% of One of this album, Baby C'mon is the funnest track he's made since Troubbble, and I don't understand why every review trashes Freeze the Saints, the piano hook is fantastic. Please go purchase.
  8. VinceH.
    May 25, 2005
    10
    SM is a true musical genius, and as a collector of everything he has ever done (all Pavement songs, albums, B-sides, rarities, etc.) this is as great as collection of songs as anything he has ever released. As an album, it ranks up there with "Terror Twilight" and "Pig Lib" as his overall greatest achievement. The fact that after all these years of writing/performing songs Malkmus has SM is a true musical genius, and as a collector of everything he has ever done (all Pavement songs, albums, B-sides, rarities, etc.) this is as great as collection of songs as anything he has ever released. As an album, it ranks up there with "Terror Twilight" and "Pig Lib" as his overall greatest achievement. The fact that after all these years of writing/performing songs Malkmus has proven he is still relevant and important in today's musical landscape is astonishing to me. It is so cool that two of the Godfathers of lo-fi (SM and Lou Barlow) released great albums in 2005 is so cool. Now if we could only get some new Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. albums... Expand
  9. JohnC.
    Jun 10, 2005
    10
    Oops! I meant to say: The Album of the Year! Nice work SM!
  10. TravisB
    Jun 30, 2005
    8
    intelligent and funky. any album with "kindling for the master" will have my vote.
  11. irkp
    Jun 8, 2005
    9
    john c, start hanging yourself then, because this is what SM does best. really a very dynamic record. keep it up steve!!
  12. PeterS
    Aug 8, 2005
    10
    By far his best solo album, wierd, beautiful, and confident. "No more shoes" is an absolute masterpiece. It's right up there with Wowee Zowee, which is saying something
  13. Serdil
    Dec 7, 2009
    9
    If not too modest to say, one of the best indie-rock albums of the decade. such beautiful sound, experimental atmosphere and songwriting. not only can the progress be easily observed in his solo career, but also so much added up to pavement era. the album cant fit into any structures or boundaries, hence we call it "indie-rock" but it is erratic (in a good way) even in his own genre. it If not too modest to say, one of the best indie-rock albums of the decade. such beautiful sound, experimental atmosphere and songwriting. not only can the progress be easily observed in his solo career, but also so much added up to pavement era. the album cant fit into any structures or boundaries, hence we call it "indie-rock" but it is erratic (in a good way) even in his own genre. it seems his relationship with the instrument has come to a very mature yet energetic state. he sounds more cynical as he's been there, done that. in the meantime, despite not being screamy-shouty, you can sense a refined and more deconstructive aggression. a note, the whole album should be listened in a stereo soundsystem with a distance between speakers. you'll get the difference. Expand
  14. chris
    May 23, 2005
    10
    nice mix of strange and delicious
  15. VicD
    May 24, 2005
    10
    Beyond Pig Lib. This is the sound of SM losing his map. This is a good thing.
  16. adams
    May 28, 2005
    7
    Stephen is back with a brand new invention. Face the truth does not stray far from any of his other solo works but is lacking in songwriting and guitar, the two things in his bag that have seemed to be misplaced here. The record is good yeah, but thats it... good.
  17. greggd
    Jun 11, 2005
    10
    Stephen Malkmus is slowly but surely maturing and inhis own words, says everyone should do the same, "face the truth". We're all getting older.
  18. RyanL
    Mar 5, 2006
    9
    Hooks out the wazoo -- worth it if only for the fact that it'll be stuck in your head for weeks.
  19. AndrewE
    Jan 28, 2007
    10
    In a weird way, I like this more than slanted and enchanted. I can't go crazy critical right now, but, certainly, the critics are reaching too far. This is the best solo album for sure.
  20. StevenL
    Nov 12, 2005
    9
    I really didn't like this album too much at first, but it really grew on me. One of my favorite releases this year, for sure. Pity it's getting such low ratings, it is a fantastic album.
  21. JasonC
    Oct 13, 2005
    9
    Loved the previous solo efforts. This one may be the best, but who cares if it is, it is just good music. SM brings it everytime. No clunkers.
  22. ARembach
    May 23, 2005
    9
    WOW! SM has made synthesized another cool sonic adventure (excuse the pun). This one being better and than the first two post-pavement popsicles. If you want to know what this album is like, eat some whizz fizz and drink some sprite whilst having a bout of synaesthesia...what you get is all the colours of the rainbow in this uplifting, sub-tone deaf, half hearted but yet passionate WOW! SM has made synthesized another cool sonic adventure (excuse the pun). This one being better and than the first two post-pavement popsicles. If you want to know what this album is like, eat some whizz fizz and drink some sprite whilst having a bout of synaesthesia...what you get is all the colours of the rainbow in this uplifting, sub-tone deaf, half hearted but yet passionate signing that we have all come to love from SM...even non-pavement fans should dig this puppy. Expand
  23. KevinS
    May 25, 2005
    9
    most of these songs barley resemble anything i ever though stephen malkmus could do. i'm pleasantly surprised. he's moving closer to producing his perfect solo album. his godpiece.
  24. JamesK
    May 27, 2005
    10
    If you're a Malkmus fan buy the record, if you're not a Malkmus fan buy the record. If you're a jaded Pavement fan expecting an early 90s Malkmus, expel your expectations and buy the album and smile.
  25. wopplettoowegweg
    Jun 26, 2005
    10
    criminally underrated
  26. PeterK.
    Jan 23, 2008
    7
    The hooks could be larger, but they're still large and I enjoy his aesthetic (distorted guitars, screwed up lyrics, and blips and bleeps a plenty.)
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Uncut
    80
    The confidence and unforced vigour of Face The Truth suggest Malkmus is happier on the margins of alt.rock than in its spotlight. [Jun 2005, p.112]
  2. He’s back in the groove here: relaxed, confident, weird in his own special way, smart, and ready to make great albums again.
  3. Filter
    84
    Of the three Stephen Malkmus solo albums, this is the one that sounds the most like Pavement. [#15, p.91]