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"Real Emotional Trash," former Pavement front man Stephen Malkmus' fourth solo album, crams layer upon layer of sloppy guitar noise on top of brilliantly catchy pop hooks but has a much tighter focus than his last effort "Pig Lib."

“Real Emotional Trash,” former Pavement front man Stephen Malkmus’ fourth solo album, crams layer upon layer of sloppy guitar noise on top of brilliantly catchy pop hooks but has a much tighter focus than his last effort “Pig Lib.”

The often- nonsensical lyrics are plenty Pavement-esque, but “Trash’s” tunes each last about twice as long as the average Pavement classic. The 10-minute title song goes off the tracks for a bit, but finishes strongly, and the lengthy “Baltimore” benefits from a bi-polar melody change at the halfway mark. Song for song, “Trash” may be Malkmus’ best post-Pavement work yet, with some truly inspired pop to be found on “Out of Reaches” and “Hopscotch Willie.” Guitars wobble in and out of the picture with a casual intensity that brings to mind both Built to Spill and early Dinosaur Jr. Some of the credit for the album’s success should undoubtedly go to the band’s new drummer, Janet Weiss (ex-Sleater-Kinney), who helps drive Malkmus’ crew in the right direction whenever the music threatens to meander right out the door.

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