• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Feb 13, 2001

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 100
    Stephen Malkmus sounds like a great unmade Pavement album polished to within an inch of its life.
  2. This is silly stuff, obviously, but it's a welcome return to the giddy wit that had dimmed as Pavement tried to contort itself into a conventional rock band.
  3. Exactly the unpredictable effort you'd expect, it utilizes a new bunch of Portland buddies to render the old noises into background music as it explores such themes as Yul Brynner's makeover and piracy on the coast of Montenegro.
  4. Revolver
    Malkmus remains up to his usual trickery, packing the proceedings with musical plot twists like false starts, abrupt fades, and fake codas. [#4, p.106]
  5. Beyond the bookish lyrics, Malkmus has composed an album of brilliant songs, with creative intros, off-kilter arrangements, and well-placed effects.
  6. Alternative Press
    Everything here is so enjoyable that it really doesn't matter that the man who helped give birth to the whole lo-fi movement has embraced a certain level of maturity. [March 2001, p.76]
  7. It will remind you that Stephen Malkmus is one hell of a songwriter, whether you like him or not.
  8. A swell record: personal but easy-going, distinctive, with a lot of picaresque personal narratives occasionally conveyed through exaggerated fantasy elements.
  9. No, it's not quite the same as another Pavement album, but its literate, funny eclecticism is almost as irresistible.
  10. Stephen Malkmus' solo debut is as mature, focused, and charming as it is rambunctious.
  11. As accessible and eccentric as any album from Pavement's catalog...
  12. There are two immediately apparent differences between Stephen Malkmus and Pavement's catalog: first and least surprisingly, there's less of a group dynamic here than on Pavement albums. It definitely has the sonic hallmarks of a "solo" album-- the songs are less jammy and spontaneous, more rigidly structured. Second, it's a lot more fun-sounding than Pavement was near the end of its shelf life.
  13. An accessible, if far from revolutionary, work.
  14. Throughout, there's little doubting Malkmus's charisma as a performer...
  15. Most people will deem this album a significant piece of work, and maybe if you haven't heard much Pavement then it is.
  16. His solo debut, Stephen Malkmus, doesn't sound so different from late-period Pavement, but at least he's regained his smart-ass swagger.
  17. The new disc has a feeling of renewal, a sense of freedom, and perhaps even fun.
  18. The Wire
    The album is not so much a departure as a continuation of Pavement, satisfying and occasionally inspired. [#205, p.59]
  19. 70
    But, despite the added highlights of obscure noise effects and spaced-out keyboards, you can't help but notice that the music seems, at times, to lose a bit of momentum on certain tracks, serving as merely a backdrop for Malkmus' spontaneous bursts of guitar improvisation and catchy hooks.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. time
    Oct 26, 2007
    It's not Pavement. And that's exactly why I'm giving it a better score than anything I'd ever give Pavement. On the other It's not Pavement. And that's exactly why I'm giving it a better score than anything I'd ever give Pavement. On the other hand he will never he come close to capturing what the Reid Brothers, the Pixies and Sonic Youth had on even their worst day. Pavement was only acclaimed because we needed something to fill the void the Pixies left behind in the early 90s. Durpa! Durpa! Cut Your Hair! I'd rather cut my own throat than listen to Pavement! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Full Review »
  2. franziskas
    Feb 23, 2003
    i love that album and i can´t understand why so many people find it and S.M. boring. i think he´s and will never be boring!!
  3. DaveC.
    Dec 28, 2001
    Frees malkmus of the limitations of being in Pavement with definitely a more personal sound (guitar solo's et al)