Around 1993, at the age of 19, my brother asked me what cd I wanted for Christmas. Two songs on the radio that I liked were "Courage", by "The Tragically Hip", and "Cut Your Hair", by "Pavement". I told him I'd take either one, and he chose "Crooked Rain", which was the Pavement album.
I listened to it a few times, but didn't really like it, except for Cut Your Hair. All the songs sounded the same, and it sounded "drony" and boring. But as I was a bored teenager back then, I had a lot of free time to listen to albums, and eventually this album really grew on me. The songs no longer sounded all the same, and this eventually became one of my favorite albums of all time.
Now, mind you, I wasn't into the music scene. I didn't have a computer or the internet back then. I had no idea about Pavement at all, except for this one album. Nobody I knew had ever heard of Pavement, nor remembered "Cut Your Hair". I was living in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, the Auto-motive capitol of Canada, our "Motor City". It's a nowhere blue collar city. (Well, atleast it was in 1993) I'd never read a rock magazine. Most of the music I liked was 60's, 70's and 80's rock, just like my older brothers. My point is, I had no influences telling me to like this album. None what so ever.
A new guy began working at my place of employment. He was into piercings, tattoo's, and alternative stuff. One day our conversation included Pavement, and he told me that there was an even better Pavement album called "Slanted and Enchanted". In fact, it was considered their best one, he told me. It took me a while, but eventually I bought it. Unlike the Crooked Rain album, I liked Slanted the first time I heard it. It sounded crazy in a way. It kinda blew me away. But I still liked Crooked better, and thought I always would. I still wasn't totally moved by Slanted, but eventually it grew on me, and it became my favorite album.
As somebody who doesn't know anything about lo-fi or hi-fi, or what critics write, I just thought this album was awesome. I really liked how it sounded. To me, the "melodies" sound awesome, and the arrangements, and what not. I love the lyrics. They are vague done well. They move me. I can relate to them. They touch me inside. I think some people who can't relate to Slanted are those who aren't in tune with the theme, or mood, of the lyrics. Quite Frankly, they soothe feelings of Sadness, depression, dissapointment, self-failure, and feeling down within me. I know some people can't relate to that, and that's ok. Good for you if you can't. You're lucky.
And I know that some people out there can play the guiter pretty decently, and they think to themselves "This sounds like crap, I can play better. How come they're famous and I'm not? People are idiots - these guys are talentless"! And some who know how to produce records in their basement or in a small studio will think the same thing about their sound quality.
Well, it doesn't sound like crap. I believe these guys had a lot of talent, and that a lot of people don't even know what talent is.
In the final analysis of an album that was/is important to me, I'm glad that somebody told me about it, recommending it, and not telling me to run the other way. I have no one to discuss this album with, as virtually nobody I meet knows who Pavement is when they ask me what kind of music do you listen to. This music "clicked" for me, and that's all that really matters, but it's cool to know that so many others have said that this album is as awesome as I think it is. Happy listening.