Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 100
    Quarantine the Past doesn't replace the albums, but it's a highly listenable alternative that is as much a treat for nostalgic older fans as it is a valuable gateway for new listeners.
  2. Diehards will lob all the complaints about sequencing and omissions, but if we're being honest here, what this compilation isn't leaves no blemish on the quality of what it actually is.
  3. 91
    It’s a nice cross-section of material that highlights why Pavement was such a darling of the alt press, but Quarantine fails to truly capture the greatness.
  4. The ore of modern Pitchfork rock is here, laid out in all its flawed-diamond beauty. For a canon so flagrant in its faults, Quarantine is all-but faultless.
  5. In other words, it’s exactly what a Pavement retrospective should be - a heavily slanted, palpably enchanted slab of richly flawed anarcho-pop.
  6. Think of Quarantine the Past as a cousin to Hot Rocks or the Red and Blue Albums: it doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, but as a primer, it’s hard to beat.
  7. It all clicks into gear by the end, and it perhaps bodes well that they appear to have worked out how to finish things on a high.
  8. 80
    The quality across this neat primer demands the high star rating. [Apr 2010, p.112]
  9. 80
    This new 23-track compilation, cherry-picking the back catalogue from 1989's "Box Elder" through to 1999's "Terror Twilight," might help resolve the band's final enigma. [Apr 2010, p.102]
  10. Quarantine The Past, a 23-track Best Of, blazes their reunion trail, working as either a tremendous primer for the uninitiated or a dizzying reminder of their remarkable abilities. [Apr 2010, p.124]
  11. In short, Pavement's influence will continue to be felt for years to come, and this compilation admirably explains why.
  12. The album contains some indisputable classics (Here, Summer Babe, Shady Lane) but aims to dig deeper than the hits.
  13. Quarantine The Past: The Best of Pavement comes after a decade of constant re-releases, bonus discs and live albums, so it shouldn’t surprise that it comes off as a final, all-encompassing victory lap. Luckily the tracks chosen reach deep enough to make it at the very least a respectable ‘best of’ compilation.
  14. Mixing deathless classics (“Here,” “Gold Soundz,” “Range Life,”) with a few non-album gems (“Frontwards”), it’s a near-ideal primer on the savviest slacker-rock band ever.
  15. Quarantine The Past, a "best of" compilation designed for those who didn't experience the band at the right age (a group that is now well out of college), attempts to put the band's best musical face forward.
  16. Understand that most of the tracks are excellent. If this were a stand-alone record, I would rate it more highly. As an overview of or introduction to Pavement, it is terribly flawed.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Jul 28, 2012
    Pavement is one of the best bands of the 90s. Pure American rock that defines it's generation, along with Pixies, GBV, Dinosaur Jr and more. Listening to every one of those songs makes me wanna go back to those gold sounds. Full Review »
  2. TAE
    May 6, 2012
    Yeah I don't get why this band is ALWAYS being clumped with Sonic Youth and the Pixies. At best they're just tag alongs. They don't even belong in the same sentence as those two brilliant, classic Alt. rockers. Yes the vocals are ridiculously weak. No emotion whatsoever. It's like Malkmus is going into a coma and if this is the best they have to offer than you're better off just listening to actual pavement being made. This band is the perfect example as to why avid music lovers hate these stupid, indie, hipster, critic types. I guess at one time it was considered "in" to sound like you're a slacker who doesn't care but without the passion and emotion you've just got dull music without heart. Full Review »
  3. Mar 12, 2012
    I missed the whole Pavement thing when it was going on so got a hold of this as I thought it might be a nice introduction to a critically acclaimed band. To be honest I'm not impressed. No doubt influential etc etc but if so then those they influenced took what they did and made it better from what I can hear. The vocals are pretty weak. The guitar licks are good but at times are just a bit all over the shop. There are very few tunes on here that I'd put on a turn up loud. Some good stuff but ultimately a bit disappointing. I'll look into some of the bands albums as perhaps this is one of those cases where individual tracks just don't translate across to a "Best Of", or perhaps its just a case of "you had to be there". Full Review »