Something of a side project to Pavement, as well as a band in its own right, the Silver Jews is the brainchild of Virginia singer-songwriter David Berman, with the assistance of Pavement guitarist/vocalist Steven Malkmus. The Silver Jews formula of folksy chord progressions, country flourishes, slightly off-key singing and poetic lyrics is in fine form on American Water. Berman possesses perfect slacker baritone vocals and an engaging writing muse that results in such precious off-kilter lines like, “In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.” Meanwhile, Malkmus’ twangy guitar lines lend an angular quality to the lo-fi, almost spoken word, musings of poet Berman.
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