“This is the city life”
Most great albums announce their greatness within just a few seconds: the synth that opens “Baba O’ Riley,” the guitar riff of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the stolen drumbeat of “Just Like Honey.”
Others? Well others take a bit to get going. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain falls into the latter camp. You put it in the CD changer, and it acts like its surprised that you chose it, so it stumbles around a bit gather itself together — random bass notes from Mark Ibold, new drummer Steve West hitting various toms like he’s doing a sound check, Stephen Malkmus trying to get his squawking guitar under control, and you can be excused if you want to ask them if you should come back later when they’re ready to play.