"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.