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Wowee Zowee Original recording reissued

4.7 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Audio, Cassette, Original recording reissued, November 26, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette (November 26, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: 1995
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: EMI Distribution
  • ASIN: B000002SW0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,918,169 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Depending on who you talk to, Wowee Zowee is either one of Pavement's greatest masterstrokes, or a bastard child they sent down the river to their unsuspecting fans. Personally, I'd balk at the idea of labeling it at all, since the album's deliberate obliqueness almost defies categorization. Taken purely as a musical artifact to be dusted off and examined though, Wowee Zowee stands as the purest testament to the warped kaleidoscope of Steven Malkmus' mind. If the previous albums were showcases for Malkmus' peerless ability to ransack the past and mold his own vision from the spoils, then Wowee Zowee simply makes the thievery a little less veiled. For while the album sports its share of true Pavement songs, especially in the near flawless first half, they feel overshadowed by the genre experiments and song fragments which punctuate the album's eighteen-song length.
Despite this disjointed nature, with epics like "Rattled By The Rush" and "Fight This Generation" standing among the pedal steel beauty of "Father To A Sister Of Thought," the Stereolab drone of "Half A Canyon," and the punk burst of "Serpentine Pad," the album doesn't really feel like a mess. That's probably because Pavement wisely pared most of the experiments down to the two-minute mark and let the fully-formed works shine a little longer (the exceptions to each rule being "Half A Canyon" and "Black Out," respectively). As for the song order, I'm not sure if any thought at all went into the album's sequence, though at the same time I'm not sure I could have done any better.
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1 Comment 28 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
When people talk about pavement they tend to "apologize" for the band's excesses (e.g. serpentine pad, brinx job) by referring to it as fun, ironic posturing. that's true to a certain extent, but if there wasn't a lot of genuine emotion behind those songs, they'd wear thin after a few listens, and you'd only tolerate it if you were in a jokey mood. What I've come to realize is that on this album, pavement attains possibly its greatest depth of emotion of all their albums. "Brighten the corners" may have catchier melodies (open to debate, but quite possible), but as one reviewer said, it wears a little thin on repeated listenings-- the reason, I think, is that the emotion isn't as genuine: it comes across as a forced sort of irony that isn't always convincing. In contrast, some of the songs on WZ will sound really weird the first time you hear them, but give the album a lot of listens and I think you'll notice: the lyrics begin to make sense in oblique, stream-of-consciousness ways, the angst, annoyance, anger, frustration, (joy?) etc. of malkmus & co start to come out quite convincingly and you begin to get that empathic connection with the music that's really quite rare.
That's a lot of typing to have to read, but suffice it to say: this album is spectacularly, uniquely moving and works well on a bunch of emotional levels. plus it's fun to listen to and it'll satisfy that "indier-than-thou" craving we all get from time to time. :)
Comment 15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
For whatever subconscious reason we sometimes revisit music we haven't listened to in years, I've been going back through a Pavement phase lately.

The other day I was sitting around trying to make a mix of their songs for myself. I threw my favorite odities off the singles on there, four from "Crooked Rain," and then I listened to "Wowie" for the first time in years just to kind of refresh my memory of the songs I liked the most. And it occurred to me: I like all of these songs. You got 18 numbers, they're all weird, they're all full of hooks and weird sounds -- pretty great and I ended up loading more than half of the record onto my mix.

"Wowie" doesn't have the Maiden Voyage cache of "Slanted," nor is it The Breakthrough of "Crooked Rain." And it may be too diverse and smart for its own good but, damn, if it doesn't kick it. Underappreciated but bountiful in its rewards.
Comment 22 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Pretty much every thing in the Pavement cannon is worth owning. I remember this album came out and all of my friend's including myself felt like it was a huge disappointment. Well I remember a few weeks later wondering if it was such a disappointment then how come I'm listening to it all the time? I can't recall ever having an album creep up on me and blowing me away like this one did. It turns out all of my friends were on the same page because we spent the entire summer of '94 playing this one. This album is sort of a fractured, eclectic split of pop, avante garde, and rock with tongue in cheek humor. The songs scream, twist, laugh, cry, and often self destruct. The guitar solo on Rattle By The Rush starts out sounding like Jimmy Page, and ends with the notes coming off in demolished pieces. It's the classic Pavement twist- the catchy pop song with something off putting or silly, but still the juxtaposition comes off brilliantly. I've never heard of a band take so many wild chances and land on their feet as well. The disappointment that really happened the time this album came out was the lack of interest this band got on that joke of a tour Lollapalooza put on by that Schmuck Perry Ferrel.
1 Comment 15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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