20 Best Second Albums of All Time

If at first you don't succeed – or even if you do – try, try again: Here are the best follow-ups in history

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Pavement, 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' (1989)
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Courtesy of Matador Records19/20

19. Pavement, 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' (1989)

The accessible, audience-building sequel to the gnomic critic's pick Slanted & Enchanted, 1994's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain showcases an indie-rock band that wants to be loved – but hold up, not too much love, a little less love please, OK, that's enough love. Ambivalence colors every note and nuance – the guitars are both jangly and tangly, the tone simultaneously elegiac and bitchy, the lyrics cryptic in a plainspoken way – and all comes to fruition on "Gold Soundz," Stephen Malkmus' obliquely eloquent demand to be misunderstood solely on his own terms.

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