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Wig Out At Jagbags by Stephen Malkmus
Released: Jan 2014
Label: Matador
"You're not what you aren't/ You aren't what you're not," sings the master of ceremonies for both Pavement and Stephen Malkmus' now longer-running Jicks on "Lariat." It's sort of a love song in his bent way -- "I wouldn't jerry-rig or candy-coat your Latin kisses" -- but it's also a statement of purpose. Malkmus' sixth "solo" album is comfortable above all else with his vocal tics, strange shifts of direction, splashes of classic twin-lead guitar and angled attacks on pop. Nothing new and plenty old, Jagbags may be his most balanced record yet. And "Houston Hades" and "J Smoov" even have soul.
Dan Weiss

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