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New Reviews: Stephen Malkmus Shows Off His Soft Side

Also: Stream new music by Coldplay, Patti Smith, Blink-182, Das Racist, more

August 23, 2011 11:10 AM ET
stephen malkmus mirror traffic
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks 'Mirror Traffic'
Courtesy amazon.com

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Jon Dolan praises Mirror Traffic, the latest album from former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus and his band, the Jicks. "The guy really is a nuanced guitar player, probably the most underrated of his generation," Dolan writes, noting that the indie rock legend's "softer side has become his best side." Also, Will Hermes says that the new Patti Smith anthology Outside Society is the "perfect primer for those who've discovered her through her recent National Book Award-winning memoir" Just Kids, and Simon Vozick-Levinson endorses the "tweaked-out beat" of Das Racist's new single "Michael Jackson."

ALBUMS

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Mirror Traffic (stream one song)

Patti Smith - Outside Society

Bobby Charles - Bobby Charles

Ana Egge - Bad Blood (stream one song)

SONGS

Das Racist "Michael Jackson"

Blink-182 "Heart's All Gone"

Coldplay "Hurts Like Heaven" (stream)

Coldplay "Princess of China" (stream)

Coldplay "Charlie Brown" (stream)

Coldplay "Us Against the World" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Watch the Throne' is Opulent and Adventurous

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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