The first line of Real Emotional Trash begs to be read autobiographically: "Of all my stoned digressions/ Some have mutated into the truth/ Not a spoof." It's the same tease that Malkmus pulled by calling his last album Face the Truth, in spite of its characteristically elusive contents. While that record featured Malkmus fully indulging his penchant for eclectic basement tinkering, Real Emotional Trash is
an unabashedly rock'n'roll band album. It's the most aesthetically cohesive album of Malkmus' solo career (which is good), but also the jammiest (which, here, is bad). The record may sound like it would have been a blast to play on, but that doesn't always make for an engrossing listen.