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Terror Twilight

4.3 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 8, 1999
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Product Description

Terror Twilight is Pavement's fifth proper studio album and perhaps their most confident effort to date. Opening with the surprisingly subdued leadoff single, the sinewy-sweet "Spit on a Stranger" (which sounds like the Velvet Underground after a couple of cartwheels), it's clear that Pavement is in no hurry to re-create Slanted and Enchanted's fractured and raw indie-pop. Instead of short bursts of jive poetry and razor guitars, the band opts for slightly longer songs with more subdued sonic explorations. Still, Terror Twilight never quite veers off into predictable directions; the boys' talent continues to confound expectations. Unforeseenly unironic heartstrings seem to be the thing these days for Pavement. This album boasts their finest ballads to date--"Major Leagues" and "Stranger"--but the days of fiery songs like "No Life for Ginger" may be over. Malkmus and crew seem to be heading in the same avant-pop direction as Built to Spill. But while Pavement may be more laid-back, they're still standing firm. Terror Twilight could be the bedrock upon which they build the rest of their career. --Jason Josephes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: June 8, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B00000IKUQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,416 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Is it just me, or is this a REALLY dark album? "Spit on a Stranger" is a wonderful yet melancholy pop song. "Major Leagues" is twangy and sad. "The Hexx" strikes fear into my heart. And my favorite track, "Ann Don't Cry," is the definition of elegiac.
I understand all the criticisms of this album--overproduced, irrelevant compared to "Slanted and Enchanted" or "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain", somewhat dull, almost a Steve Malkmus solo project. I didn't really like it, either, the first time I heard it, and only liked it a bit more the next twenty times I played it--until I suddenly realized I kept playing it. Over and Over. Like standing in the Louvre, staring at the Mona Lisa for hours, caught up in the enigma.
"Terror Twilight"--Never has an album been so appropriately monikered. Just like they've always done, Pavement makes concept albums about California without calling them concept albums about California. This one is all about what happens when you're in your early 30s, bored and listless, trying to recapture the enthusiasm of your early 20s (i.e., "S&E"). Instead of skateboarding home from your job at the cafe, now you're driving a Lexus, stuck in rush hour traffic, coming back from your cubicle job at some software company. I don't think I'm wrong about this.
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By A Customer on November 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I have been listening to rock for over 35 years. Through the decades, certain ablums have been special to me (The Velvet Underground and Nico, Patti Smith's Horses, The Replacements' Tim). For the past decade, though, nothing has really grabbed me like that. Oh, I liked Nevermind and Exile in Guyville as much as the next guy, but somehow nothing seemed to have that special spark.
Until I discovered Pavement. I was somewhat at a loss as to where to place this review. I love all five of their official albums, and I think that Slanted and Enchanted is probably still their best. Still, Terror Twilight has grown on me to the point that the hooks, melodies, and lyrics have become indelible.
Since I'm a middle-aged guy, my opinion may not mean much to Pavement's basic audience (or what I imagine is their audience). But from the point of view of a guy who has heard it all (or at least a lot of it), entered college when Purple Haze was in the Top 40, and been listening ever since, take it from me: Pavement can stand with the best of them!
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Format: Audio CD
The best band of the 90's, arguable yes, but many share the same feeling. Malkmus took over songwriting here, as if it should have ever differed on the past albums so it feels more like his first solo album rather than a Pavement record. This album is missing something that all the previous albums had and the strangest thing is that its not missed what so ever. This album is the most endearing work Pavement did in their 12 years of being a band. It's nearly impossible to not give this album anything less than 5 stars because, simply put, this is the album where Pavement sounded like a pop genius rock band. The only thing that is a downer on this album is the fact that it's the fairwell, swan song album. Even with that considered, the material is so wonderfull that you almost forget this is the end of the journey. It's like crying happy and sad at once. Pavement was once sloppy and imperfected which is what made their early records such a treat to listen to and, more often than not, a strange and difficult listen. It's amazing to me how much this is an improvement from the least consistent album by Pavement, which in my opinion was "Brighten the Corners." It wasn't a bad album, just not complete sounding. Terror Twilight is not only a huge rebound, but it's where Pavement shows they were always as good as the Beach Boys or the Velvet Underground. I never understood the "cool kids" who said they liked Pavement's early records and lost interest in the later material. Terror Twilight stands as tall as any of the first three full lenghts and any of the early 7 inches and EPs. The album is so good, that a track by track review is pointless. Take this as a pill and swallow it whole. You won't believe your ears or anything else around you. I'll leave you to it now as S.M. says..

"My Palestinian nephew got his face blown off

in a dusty craft."
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Format: Audio CD
As a latecomer to the Pavement party, I found their earlier efforts more difficult to dive into, at least initially. The raw guitar and unique vocal-style with those often bizarre, stream-of-consciousness lyrics created an overall lazy sound that was too much (or too little) for me at the time. Then I stumbled upon Terror Twilight (thanks to Nickel Creek's 2003 cover of "Spit on a Stranger"), a Malkmus-heavy, darker, yet more straight-forward, Pavement album that serves as not only the perfect segway into Malkmus' solo career, but also as a wonderful starting point for any listener who was unfamiliar with the band's earlier works. I wouldn't call it their best (everyone seems to have a different opinion here - mine would be 1997's Brighten the Corners) nor would I call it their most influential or experimental (1992's Slanted and Enchanted). I do, however, have no problem calling it their most approachable album and for this reason, it deserves high ratings. Songs like "Spit on a Stranger", "Folk Jam" and "and Carrot Rope" keep the unfamiliar listener interested while songs like "the Hexx" ease that listener into the idea of Pavement. And after going through their catalog, it is safe to say that Pavement is now my favorite band, thanks in no small part to their final album.
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