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Mirror Traffic

19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 23, 2011
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Coming off a triumphant year of Pavement reunion shows, Stephen Malkmus returned to the studio with Beck producing to record his fifth solo album, Mirror Traffic. Early press reactions are calling this gorgeous, crystalline production "the album we've been waiting 10 years for him to make," and it certainly contains the most heartfelt and indelible songs he's written in years. Gone are the long guitar workouts and jams that marked the last couple of Jicks albums, replaced by incredibly catchy and endearing pop songs.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 23, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B0057OOQEU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,469 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Constant Listener on August 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
In celebration of an outstanding album from Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks I hereby present, in no particular order and without a conventional ending (hey, kind of like a Malkmus song), the MIRROR TRAFFIC awards:

Best Song With A Weird, Smart Guy, Do-Whatever-You-Want Punk Attitude = "Spazz"

Best Song Title = "Stick Figures in Love"

Best Run Of Consecutive Awesome Songs = Tracks 12-15: "Forever 28," "All Over Gently," "Fall Away," and "Gorgeous Georgie."

Prettiest Song = "Fall Away"

Most Hypnotic Repeating Guitar Part = "Stick Figures in Love"

"Hey, That Sounds Like" ____ Award = three-way tie:

"Fall Away" = sounds like The Cave Singers

"Jumblegloss" = sounds like the opener to an early 90's Seattle grunge anthem

"Long Hard Book" = opening guitar sounds like a long lost George Harrison solo track

Best Sing-Along/Crescendo-To-Falsetto Chorus To Relate To = "There's not much left inside my tank today..." from "Brain Gallop"

Best Surprise Guitar Solo Near the End Of A Song That Listeners With An iTunes Attention Span Might Miss = A little over four minutes into "Brain Gallop"

Best Use Of Profane Imagery In A Song = "I know what the senator wants, what the senator wants is a bl _ w j _ b" from "Senator"

Best Instant Atmosphere = "Long Hard Book" (although Malkmus blasts the atmosphere away with his guitar at the end of the song).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Soferkins on August 24, 2011
Format: Audio CD
"I have nothing in my head." It would seem Malkmus is being ironic, for this album proves the lyric completely untrue. Indeed, Mirror Traffic demonstrates the fun Stephen Malkmus still, some 10 years post-Pavement, wants to have. Playful and replete with unexpected turns, the album while only somewhat reminiscent of 90s Pavement, is more than ever a product of Malkmus' whim and spontaneity, as can be heard in each song's slight imperfection, a feature of Malkmus' work that I have always appreciated. Just wonderful. A definite must-buy!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Gilliland on April 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I'm not a Pavement fan and this is the first Malkmus/Jicks album that I've heard, so I'm coming to this from a non-fan's perspective, but one with an open musical mind. I give things a chance and if I don't like it the first time, I keep listening ... up to a point. Well, I tried. And I tried again, and again, and again. And the greatness of this album totally escapes me. I read the rave reviews, read an interview with Malkmus, and thought this would be an interesting listen. Actually, parts of this album are quite good, but there's just not enough songs of consistent quality on here. It sounds like the guy is just treading musical water and lazily punching out a few songs with little effort. Maybe if I was more familiar with his previous work I'd appreciate this one more, but it's not a CD that I'm going to put into heavy rotation.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William Ramsay on August 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Fantastic album - There are the usual Malkmusian turns of phrase where words from opposite ends of the dictionary meet for the first time ("animus" and "lockjaw" please shake hands), the musicianship is slick (fewer solos this time, but the guitar soup is intense and flavorful, Janet adds some spicy drumming, and this time round Joanna throws out some really memorable basslines). What blew me away this time are the tunes - everything is melodic as the top 40 circe 1966, but always, ALWAYS with a twist. Favorite tracks are "Stick figures" and "Share the red" for the echoey ending, but seriously its worth the price for the cover alone.

Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you really like the last few Pavement albums, you'll probably like this too. If you don't care for Pavement, you probably don't like anything Stephen Malkmus does with anyone anyway. No surprises there. The songs are mostly short and catchy with good hooks. Everything has a clear, bright production with a good, up-front mix.
It's not that the Jicks are the same as Pavement, but for comparison, this album is probably similar enough to draw many of the same praises and criticisms as, say, Brighten the Corners. As expected with the Jicks, though, it's more tightly performed while still retaining that slacker charm.
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Format: Audio CD
Not sure how Malkmus could top this one and its playful, hooky, spastic charms. Listening to this album is like a late night fridge trek after coming home from the bars and discovering a wealth of junk food staring you in the face. It is obvious this guy is having fun and we are lucky enough to be along for the ride. I was able to catch this tour a few years back and was blown away by the electricity in the tiny room in Indianapolis. The encore of White Light, White Heat buzzed in my brain for days.
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By Jon Quixote on October 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So, a few Amazon reviewers have expressed disappointment that Malkmus & the Jicks do not live up to Pavement. For what it's worth, I was never able to get into Pavement. I owned "Slanted and Enchanted", and sampled other Pavement material online over a period of years. I felt like I wanted to become a Pavement fan, but it just didn't work out.

Now along comes this. I'm not sure what impelled me to do it, but I found some live performances of the Jicks on youtube. I was immediately hooked, and ordered "Mirror Traffic". It turned out to be one of those rare albums that thrilled on the very first listen (I had only seen two live videos, so the other 13 songs were true first listens). I'm in the "it's all I want to listen to" phase with it right now. I want others to join me.

Also, now I get Pavement a little better. Yes, this is very different (and better, in my opinion). It's pretty neat that I now feel like I'll pick up some Pavement, and this time it will probably stick.
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