Albums to watch

Traditional Techniques

Stephen Malkmus

Traditional Techniques

Latest studio album, and third in three years, from the former Pavement frontman

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  1. 9.0 |   Uncut

    The wry, heartfelt "Cash Up" and truly touching "Amberjack" are highlights; that he exits on the breezy, sardonic bonus track "Juliefuckingette" is a reminder, though, that yes, it's still Malkmus. Print edition only

  2. 9.0 |   All Music

    Stephen Malkmus finally makes the psych-folk album he's been hinting at for years.
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  3. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    In a former life, Stephen Malkmus once heaped scorn on “men in dashikis and their leftist weeklies”. Now, he sounds like one of them and, God help us all, he wears it exceptionally well
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  4. 8.0 |   The FT

    Melodic numbers with eastern inflections make a rewarding change for the American singer-songwriter
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  5. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    An expertly written and performed exploration of muted psych-rock and various strands of folk music, with Malkmus stretching his legs apparently just because he can
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  6. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The album is less a revealing personal statement than a change of palette
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  7. 8.0 |   Q

    Every song an inquisitive joy. Print edition only

  8. 8.0 |   Mojo

    These loose, predominantly acoustic arrangements area fine fit for Malkmus's usual shtick; shaggy, ambulatory songs full of odd twists and rococo angles that seem designed to undermine pretension rather than amplify it. Print edition only

  9. 8.0 |   American Songwriter

    Malkmus has always had a gift for making the unexpected feel easy and natural. With his recent output, he proves he hasn’t outgrown the curiosity and spontaneity that has crucially defined his music. It turns out even an old Straw Dog can still learn new tricks
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  10. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    His third release in three years, Traditional Techniques finds Stephen Malkmus in a more free-spirited mood
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  11. 8.0 |   Long Live Vinyl

    For those hoping for a record teeming with fuzz guitar and wonky melody, you may be let down, but if you’re enjoying following Malkmus on his current winding and unpredictable path, it’s yet another rewarding sidestep on that journey
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  12. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    On recent form, Stephen Malkmus has been prolific, consistent and challenging. While we would dearly love Pavement to surprise us with something of the same calibre of their 90s’ run of classic albums, this will more than make do
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  13. 7.7 |   Pitchfork

    The former Pavement frontman—never someone who seemed interested in making a straightforward acoustic album—comes through with an unexpectedly deft and learned folk record
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  14. 7.0 |   Northern Transmissions

    Your enjoyment of this album will really depend on how much you are able to sink into the daydreamy vibe of the music and production
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  15. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Melds folk-rock flavoring with junk-food surrealism delivered through his characteristic brand of irony
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  16. 7.0 |   DIY

    He’s finally come up with the blueprint for slacker escape
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  17. 7.0 |   music OMH

    Simply put, this is a very, very niche record that will likely sink, never to be seen again, as soon as Pavement step foot on the Primavera Sound stage in June (coronavirus permitting). But if you were to give it a few spins, who knows where it might end up taking you?
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  18. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    Not many artists left over from the ’90s can make such a claim; Malkmus, however, can
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  19. 6.9 |   Paste Magazine

    Fans of folk and Malkmus alike will find something to love here, even if Traditional Techniques doesn’t quite make the grade
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  20. 6.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Will Malkmus’ perma-slacker take on folk music capture people’s hearts?
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  21. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    A curious exploration into new ground
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  22. 6.0 |   The Observer

    The more direct songs work best – most notably the simmering Shadowbanned and the contrastingly carefree bonus track Juliefuckingette – but there is just as much to enjoy in the album’s hinterlands too
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  23. 5.0 |   Crack

    Traditional Techniques is polished and expertly musical, but it sounds more interested in catering to the whims of Malkmus himself than engendering any response from us
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  24. 4.0 |   Vinyl Chapters

    Malkmus’s latest project represents the polar opposite of his previous, bleating electronic/post-punk outing, Groove Denied, in terms of aesthetics and instrumentation
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