Stephen Malkmus, the king of indie

The best solo album yet from the former member of the Pavement...

By Marc ZISMAN | Video of the Day | June 17, 2018

Pavement was probably the most influential formation of the 1990s indie rock scene. But its mastermind, Stephen Malkmus, didn’t let it go to his head and didn’t lament that Nirvana or the Smashing Pumpkins get at that time more recognition and above all more money than he did… Little time after the band’s separation in 1999, he launches into a solo career. Since 2001, he has been frequently releasing small discographic letters to remind us of his talent as a composer and most of all as a lyricist. His seventh album, Sparkle Hard, will inevitably make you think of…

Pavement. A leopard cannot change its spots. But Malkmus also proves that he’s not only a slacker (at more than 50…) rambling about his eternal recipes like on Bike Lane and Middle America, where his politically-engaged fiber rears its head. He even has fun with the technologies of today by playing with the Auto-tune. But because he is Stephen Malkmus, he also puts some rather unexpected icing on top of his delicious cake: a duo with former Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon (Refute), some kind of joyful country ballad.

As always with Malkmus, Sparkle Hard is also the haven of endearing melodies which are the perfect counterpoint to the cynicism and the quirkiness of the lyrics. Once again: a leopard cannot change its spots.


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