I'm not the best person to be writing about Stephen Malkmus. I love just about everything he has committed to tape - even deemed weaker titles, such as his self-titled 2001 album, still has many killer hooks and turns of phrase. And it must be said that latest album with his Jicks, Wig Out At Jagbags, is a tighter affair, more loose in relaxed delivery than musicianship, with spaced jams kept to a minimum (which I always find a shame). But I at first found this album a little too quiet, self-assured in its faux-modesty. Of course, I'd been listening to Blank Realm all week, so the juxtaposition there is always going to be jarring. So today I have kept an open mind, thrown Jagbags on - and guess what? Yep, I'm a fan.
It's nothing overtly new - it's just another Malkmus gem. Im finding more and more that he is something of a Turkish delight amongst music lovers - a sweetly acquired taste. But when you can be so steadfast in your own unique vision, becoming a musical auteur with your skewed euphemisms and wayward approaches to life (I've been tripping my face off since breakfast/Taking in this windswept afternoon as on 'Cinnamon & Lesbians' or referencing ELO in the crooner 'J Smoov'). Malkmus is an icon - one of the greats - and Wig Outs At Jagbags only helps to affirm this. Just listen to the man play guitar, drawl weary rejoinders and witty rambles, and enjoy.
Wig Out At Jagbags is out through Matador and Spunk Records - get it here or here.