I like this song because Malkmus barks more like a punk rocker than a lyricist who has been overexposed by the New Yorker crowd. I think he has a terrific bratty rock sense, a quavery but tuneful (and conversational) voice, and a pretty solid band behind him always.
But I also like the Malkmus tunes (with Pavement, with Jicks, and solo) when he brays like a word-drunk poet with an aversion to following the melody too closely. Again, because the band behind him is always solidly creative. Nobody is phoning it in.
Which isn’t to say that they’re dedicated to tight.