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Stephen Malkmus has never made a record that covered nearly as much stylistic ground as this nor, it could be argued, has Stephen made an album until now that packed as much of an emotional (not nearly trashy enough for some) wallop. “Cold Son,” “Out of Reaches” and “We Can’t Help You” are amongst the more gorgeous, contemplative songs Malkmus has recorded, though we should stress a) there’s no shortage of dark humor scattered through RET and b) Malkmus remains a sh*t-hot guitarist (ridiculously so).

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