Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Pavement: Wowee Zowee [Matador, 1995]
Despite their disavowals of "progress," this proceeds as you'd figure--toward lyricism rather than commerciality or some such chimera. It's seldom hard or fast or chaotic, and if it was their sacred mission to humanize guitar noise, they've betrayed it like the reprobates they no doubt are. But if their vocation is beguiling song-music that doesn't sound like anything else or create its own rut, this reinforces one's gut feeling that they can do it forever. They can't, of course--nobody can. But the illusion of eternity has been music's sacred mission for a good long time. A