Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Sparkle Hard

2018

This album was released 18 weeks ago.

76% ±11% 17 reviews
# Song 4WIM
1 Cast Off
2 Future Suite
3 Solid Silk
4 Bike Lane
5 Middle America
6 Rattler
7 Shiggy
8 Kite
9 Brethren
10 Refute
11 Difficulties / Let Them Eat Vowels
Rating Source
76% 4WIM Rating
90% Exclaim! Music Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks Sparkle Hard By Vish Khanna Published May 17, 2018 9 When Matador Records introduced Sparkle Hard to the world in February, they debuted the single "Middle America," a jangly, laidback, wordy pop concoction that casually presented itself as one of Stephen Malkmus' greatest songs.
87% Paste Magazine Let's take a moment to appreciate the press push behind Stephen Malkmus" & the Jicks' new album Sparkle Hard.
87% Consequence of Sound Other than that, there’s not much to complain about, provided you’re a fan of guitar rock made since 1990.
81% Backseat Mafia He’s a doting dad and a devoted husband and has no problems taking his kids to school and buying groceries while his wife works.
80% Soundblab Whether these are intended to be reverential musical quotes I don't know, and they definitely sound quirky, but Malkmus is, in fact, quirky and it plays to character.
80% DIY Magazine
80% The Skinny With Pavement, he created at least two perfect seminal albums and inspired a thousand fantastic indie rock bands (as well as a thousand terrible ones, probably).
80% The Guardian For a man who recently declared “I’m basically over”, Stephen Malkmus sounds surprisingly animated on his seventh album with the Jicks.
80% The Firenote Same thing with modern music that at times leans toward the atonal, or stretches the boundaries of conventional harmonies, or who lets musical conventions dissolve into noise, finds some listeners quick to assume it’s either a musical mistake, or that it reveals a musician’s limited abilities, rather than seeing these challenging musical pieces as an artistic expression, the result of the musician’s creative choices.
80% Clash But ‘Sparkle Hard’ differs as it sees Malkmus renounce (slightly) that smirking posture of indifference which we’ve grown to love him for on an album that immediately seems more effervescent and engaged than previous efforts.
78% Earbuddy It comes from fronting an influential band, even if that band still doesn’t get the respect of the larger audience it deserves.
76% QRO Magazine
70% Slant Magazine
70% Loud & Quiet Things only falter when paucity of songcraft is badly masked with novelty effects units, and even then it’s a tribute to Malkmus’ ear that a vocoder can’t entirely derail proceedings.
67% Nöjesguiden Hans friformiga rock låter som hans nu, inte som hans progressiva förebilders, vare sig det är tunga gitarriff som i Cast Off, hårt högljutt gitarrslingrande som i Rattler och i Kite, eller stråkburen skir psykedelia som i Solid Silk.  De där stunderna av enkelhet som Stephen Malkmus ändå inte riktigt kan ge upp finns här också.
50% Gaffa (Sweden) Och med tanke på kvaliteten på Middle America var förväntningarna således att Sparkle Hard skulle vara ett monster till album.
50% Music OMH Within the community of DIY indie rockers, Malkmus is king and godhead; Pavement and Silver Jews were crucibles for his crown, and his subsequent run of worthy solo albums with the Jicks has only cemented its placement.