- Pavement: Stephen Malkmus, Spiral Stairs (vocals, guitar); Mark Ibold (bass); Steven West, Bobby Nastanovich (drums).
- Additional personnel: Johnny Greenwood (harmonica); Dominic Mercott (drums).
- Personnel: Stephen Malkmus (vocals, electric guitar).
- Recording information: London, England (06/1998-12/1998); New York, NY (06/1998-12/1998).
- Directors: Spike Jonze; Lance Bangs.
- Unknown Contributor Roles: Mark Ibold; Scott Kannberg; Stephen Malkmus; Steve West; Bob Nastanovich.
- Where 1997's BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS saw Stephen Malkmus and his merry band of indie rock pranksters shine a light on the band's rock-centric qualities, TERROR TWILIGHT harkens back to '95s WOWEE ZOWEE, when Pavement were all about the shambolic sprawl of Alternative possibility. Of course, four years later the context is entirely different--the band's fate as rock's (commercially unsuccessful) great post-Nirvana hope is nearly sealed. And maybe that's where both the terror and the twilight come into play--in the realization that preaching sprawling possibility to the converted is more a noose than an open field, that failed expectations are a setting sun.
- So, a downbeat spirit pervades TWILIGHT's songs. And in this gloom, Malkmus looks for and finds soft, dark, melodic wonders: "Spit on a Stranger" turns its eye towards relationships, "Major Leagues" towards a careerist's self-worth, and "Ann Don't Cry" tries to be an anthem for outsiders while visibly flashing its own lonely tear. It's not until the closing "Carrot Rope," a sunny bit of mid-tempo Pavement-pop-foolery with two competing and overlapping vocals, that a major-key ray of light is cast upon the proceedings. Let's hope that this little light is enough to get them through the night.
Rolling Stone (6/24/99, p.67) - 4 out of 5 - "...The songs and lyrics slide around with a decorous unpredictability, like ice on a hot stove. This is an album full of folk-rock lucidity, tough-guy guitar spills, space-rock languor and a debonair heartache worthy of Seal or Morrissey..."
Spin (6/99, pp.133-144) - 6 (out of 10) - "...There's a definite sense of openness here, and songs full of forward sentiment....Never before has the language been so direct, so easy to figure out..."
Entertainment Weekly (6/11/99, p.65) - "...The band can't seem to avoid implied sardonicism....marked by their usual lyric obscurantism, the record has a gentle, unsteady airiness....it's just emotions in motion." - Rating: B+
Q (1/00, p.85) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1999."
Q (7/99, p.122) - 3 stars (out of 5) - "...the band's joy of random noise has not deserted them....it's an over-pleasant Pavement album...it still doesn't sound like anyone else..."
The Wire (6/99, p.68) - "...TERROR TWILIGHT signals [Pavement's] fuller embrace of shimmering pop music...embedding some of their most accessible songs to date in a lush production..."
CMJ (6/7/99, p.5) - "...a solid, if fairly straightforward and understated, rock record....makes the most of the group's prettiest, most sentimental material to date..."
Melody Maker (6/5/99, p.36) - 4 stars (out of 5) - "...There's everything here from blues rock and free jazz to warped folk, lullabies, country and just plain noise....you find yourself sucked into Pavement's gloriously elliptical world..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/00, p.30) - Ranked #12 in Mojo Magazine's "Best of 1999"
Mojo (Publisher) (7/99, p.98) - "...Pavement at their most grandly accessible....each track not only withstands but demands a similarly deranged level of engagement..."
NME (Magazine) (6/5/99, p.37) - 8 out of 10 - "...It's this kind of thing that keeps Pavement completely essential....The beauty on TERROR TWILIGHT is more striking because it sounds like its been stumbled on while walking out to buy coffee, trainers or tofu..."