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Even as an unapologetic anti-metallite, I still can't escape the call of this band's silvery gleam. Still pleasant, still clever, still all the good-great pop action David Berman and Stephen Malkmus can dream up o'er the course of an album's time. Twelve chuckle-along songs hitting red on your geekest hip-o-meter.
"All my favorite singers couldn't sing," Dave Berman of the Silver Jews idiosyncratically speak-croons on "Blue Arrangements." To make the point hit hardest, he doesn't sing so well himself, but it's well-taken: from Lou Reed to Bob Dylan, John Cale to Palace, conventionally "good" singing isn't the most necessary element in effective storyteller-troubadour music. Berman is a prose poet by day and rocker by night, and his lazy-sounding, countrified, skeletal, yet invigorating music celebrates the union of word with sound in a manner simultaneously classic and seldom heard. It's hard not to like a record that begins with the line "In 1984 I was hospitalized for reaching perfection." Thankfully, Berman doesn't trade in the wordplay he and collaborator Steve Malkmus are so expert at. If only Pavement's Brighten the Corners were this relaxed, full of melodic hooks, and cagily profound. --Mike McGonigal
There are few albums I would say that are perfect but this one is beyond perfect. It's genius in a way that Einstein would say 'damn, that is brilliant! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jaymac4
Ex-Pavement man Stephen Malkmus appears on several Silver Jews records, but only on this one -- American Water -- do we sense his collaboration with the Jews' "Semite-in-Chief"... Read morePublished on July 16, 2013 by ChesterM
Wonderful, terribly depressing, messed up, melodic, mind wandering music. Belongs along-side my 90's heroin inspired albums. Read morePublished on June 15, 2013 by Lauren B.
On this album Berman sings about love in metaphysical terms and seems to reference Heidegger. Also the true belief/truth thought experiment of Smith and Jones. Read morePublished on April 23, 2012 by sportsanalogyjudo
You could do worse if slacker rock is your thing, but eerily evoking a third-rate imitation of what you do better elsewhere for the sake of your (even more wearily witty) buddies... Read morePublished on January 11, 2010 by IRate
This is an odd and highly entertaining amalgam of Lou Reed vocals, twisted lyrics, and laid-back song structures that are married to country-rock and modern rock arrangements, and... Read morePublished on May 1, 2008 by Todd and In Charge
I'm looking at the effusive reviews for this Silver Jews record and they just underscore how unreliable Amazon customer reviews are. Five stars for this album? Ridiculous. Read morePublished on August 29, 2007 by aproductofsociety
This is the ultimate in laid back folk rock. The guitars are powerful but relaxed, the lyrics actually mean something, and the vocals are hollow and bold. Read morePublished on December 2, 2004 by "BLT" Taylor