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Brighten The Corners Original recording reissued

4.5 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, June 23, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Stereo
  2. Shady Lane
  3. Transport Is Arranged
  4. Date With IKEA
  5. Old To Begin
  6. Type Slowly
  7. Embassy Row
  8. Blue Hawaiian
  9. We Are Underused
  10. Passat Dream
  11. Starlings Of The Slipstream
  12. Fin


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B00000JHAR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,981 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I don't know why other reviewers think this sounds good, there is clipping, distortion, and hyper compression. In short, there are all the tell tale signs of loud mastering (see "loudness war" at wikipedia). For those that don't know, most pop rock offerings today try to be as loud as possible so that they will not be out volumed during ipod shuffle play. They do this by making the average volume approach peak volume. This means whispers become as loud as shouts. The end result is degraded sound quality and if you listen to the 1997 version alongside this one on a decent stereo or decent set of headphones, matching the volume levels, you will notice the difference. The new one lacks punch, has poor sounding cymbal crashes, no dynamics, and intermittent distortion. Overall, a poor job of mastering, but it's a good 40% louder than the 1997 version. So if you're thinking of buying this because you want the best sounding version of BTC, don't.

However, there are quite a few extras that are worth listening too, especially if you were lucky enough to score the edition that came with the live LP. I received two discs and one LP for 19.99, great deal. And if you are a long term fan this set is really something you should pick up. The booklet is 60+ pages and contains a few written pieces and lots of great pictures. The quality of the printing and paper isn't up to the previous standards of the last three sets, but compared to what one usually gets with remasters, it's great. The bonus material includes alternate mixes and versions, bbc live in studio material, b-sides, compilation tracks, and outtakes. The extra material is not as strong as say the Slanted & Enchanted luxe & redux stuff, but it is still worth while.

So five stars for the set and 1.5 stars for the mastering = 3.25 overall.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are a big Pavement fan, you should definately pick up this one. The price is good, the extras plentiful and the remastered sound excellent. If you are new to Pavement and don't own it yet, then buy this expanded edition immediately! The original album has aged very well. From the opener Stereo to closer Fin, it may be their most consistent effort, though not necessarily their most brilliant. It is sort of like a refined version of Wowee Zowee with the most difficult and sloppy parts removed, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective. Either way, I love it for the quality of the melodies, the guitar parts, and the hilarious non-sensical lyrics. The extra songs on this expanded version are hit and miss as is to be expected, but they put this album in its proper context and actually improve the overall impact of the album. I'm not a Pavement B-sides collector so I'd never heard the extra tunes before - taken as a whole the extra songs seem more light-hearted and upbeat than the somewhat deliberate and mellow songs on the original album. There are many good ones here, including Roll With the Wind, And then (the Hexx), Slowly Typed (coutryfied version), No Tan Lines, and the Killing Moon, among others. In short, Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition is an example of how delux reissues should be done.
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Format: Audio CD
I tend to think of both "Crooked Rain" and this disc as "suburban," but in opposite ways. "Crooked Rain" is largely about growing up in a suburb, feeling out-of-place amongst the daily scramble, and ultimately finding shelter in some kind of escape (although "Fillmore Jive" shows that rock n roll isn't necessarily the answer either). This one seems to be about returning to the suburbs as an adult, and coming to terms with it even if it isn't ideal. There are interesting cultural references in these songs which make it clear what Malkmus had on his mind or was observing at this time- see song titles like "Date with Ikea" (trendy budget furniture) and "Passat Dream" (trendy budget car).

I find myself reaching for this one first when I delve into my Pavement collection. It's subdued and textured, much less raw than the earlier work, and the songs all meld together into what feels like a story. It's about shady lanes and all that, but it's definitely not McCartney's first solo disc (famed for its feeling of "domestic bliss"). Malkmus is still critical of his surroundings, he's just found a way to come to terms with them. A very unique record and, like all of Pavement's work, necessary for a real understanding of 1990s rock n roll.
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Format: Audio CD
I admit, when Brighten The Corners first came out, I didn't really dig it that much. Wowie Zowie had embedded itsself into my brain (I still consider it their masterpiece- although a very psychotic masterpiece) and I guess I wanted more of that Pavement. Instead it consisted of more fully realized songs, shinier production and most of it pretty mellow. Sure, I liked certain cuts, but I put it away for a long time. Of course I eventually realized its greatness. What's wrong with mellow?

If you're checking out this reissue, you probably know the album, so I'll get to the extras (32 of 'em!). First off, the original album has only twelve songs but they recorded about twice as many. Some were released as b-sides, including "Harness Your Hopes" and "No Tan Lines" which are a few of Pavements best songs, though they never made it to an album (along with "Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence" which can be found on the Crooked Rain reissue). "Wanna Mess You Around" is a stab of garage punk which would sit nicely next to "Serpentine Pad".

Some of the stuff that didn't make the cut has never been released, like an early creeping version of "The Hexx" and psychedelic instrumental "Beautiful As A Butterfly", had all of these been included on Brighten The Corners, it would have been a completely different beast, more akin to their earlier more chaotic sound.

Disc two features the best radio sessions I've heard from Pavement (they get quite zany), including their excellent cover of "The Killing Moon", a cover of Faust's "It's A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl" and a crazy version of "Grave Architecture" with some hilarious backing vocals by (I'm guessing) Bob Nastanovich.
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