Album: Mirror Traffic
. . .
After 2003’s Pig Lib, Stephen Malkmus recorded to follow-up, 2005’s Face The Truth, mostly by himself, which might have prompted drummer John Moen to leave. This didn’t faze Malkmus at all, and Moen was replaced by the once and future Sleater-Kinney drummer, Janet Weiss. Weiss was onboard for 2008’s Real Emotional Trash and 2011’s Mirror Traffic.
Mirror Traffic also had the news hook of being produced by one Beck Hansen, meaning that at least three 90’s indie legends were onboard. And in fact, it’s definitely one of his best solo albums, with highlights like “Fall Away,” “Asking Price” and todays song, “Stick Figures in Love.”
Opening with a quick Weiss drumroll, “Stick Figures in Love” instantly transitions into a great, long, ringing guitar hook that instantly sticks in your head in the same way Malkmus’s greatest Pavement guitar hooks did, after which Malkmus sings about, well, something or other.
If you want mine you better take
All the lies of me
No one can see
Market on the bug in no one’s ear
I can see you down
Sideways in my head
Sure, whatever, Stephen. This one isn’t about the words, it’s about the guitar. And whether it’s the that fantastic hook, which is repeated over and over and again, or even the lead near the end of the song, the guitar well and truly delivers. But it’s mostly the guitar hook, one of the best Malkmus has ever come up with.
“Stick Figures in Love”
“Stick Figures in Love” live on KCRW, 2011
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