22 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Guided by Voices may be a distant memory in 2009, but Robert Pollard isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Elephant Jokes arrives just as his other “bands“ Boston Spaceships and Circus Devils continue their prodigious output. These 22 tracks are Pollard continuing his foray into whatever amuses him. “Johnny Optimist” begins things with a tough classic rock FM radio guitar alongside Pollard’s own leisurely, mocking tone. “Symbols and Heads,” “Epic Heads,” and “Stiff Me” churn with Pollard’s by now standard guitar-based stream-of-consciousness pop. It’s all a bit exhausting at nearly two dozen tracks, but Pollard rarely dwells and the use of mellotron and other psychedelic touches make everything sound hopelessly wistful and retro and bizarrely modern in that beautifully arbitrary, detached way. Pollard’s albums are like a personal iPod set on random. Find the ballad (“Desiring”), the pop hook (“Hippsville (Where the Frisbees Fly Forever),” “Jimmy”) and the space jam (“Tattered Lily,” “Architectural Nightmare Man”) and prepare for take-off.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Guided by Voices may be a distant memory in 2009, but Robert Pollard isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Elephant Jokes arrives just as his other “bands“ Boston Spaceships and Circus Devils continue their prodigious output. These 22 tracks are Pollard continuing his foray into whatever amuses him. “Johnny Optimist” begins things with a tough classic rock FM radio guitar alongside Pollard’s own leisurely, mocking tone. “Symbols and Heads,” “Epic Heads,” and “Stiff Me” churn with Pollard’s by now standard guitar-based stream-of-consciousness pop. It’s all a bit exhausting at nearly two dozen tracks, but Pollard rarely dwells and the use of mellotron and other psychedelic touches make everything sound hopelessly wistful and retro and bizarrely modern in that beautifully arbitrary, detached way. Pollard’s albums are like a personal iPod set on random. Find the ballad (“Desiring”), the pop hook (“Hippsville (Where the Frisbees Fly Forever),” “Jimmy”) and the space jam (“Tattered Lily,” “Architectural Nightmare Man”) and prepare for take-off.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Psychlops' Raincloud ,

Pollards "Pringles"

To break the terrible onslought of the three word review: Bob Pollard albums are a lot like buying potato chips in a can. You know you're
gonna get some broken chips; but you buy 'em anyway."Elephant Jokes" is no exception. After what seemed like a "band mentality"
success of Boston Spaceships, Bob has teamed this caustic solo effort with Todd Tobias' soundscapes (heavy guitar treatments and even
an "x-files" synth on "Cosmic Yellow Children"). "Newly Selected Dirt Spot" and "Pigeon Tripping" seem to suffer the most from layering
poetry on music files,but the gems (tracks 2,5,11,12,14,19,21) find their place alongside Bobs' best solo work. Spanning the beauty of
"Tattered Lilly" and "(All You Need) To Know" to the anthemic rock of "Johnny Optimist" and "Symbols and Heads" you are sure to find
those perfect "chips" to savor and add to the Pollard canon.
For the novice: go immeadiately to Bobs' first solo "Not In My Airforce" and download "Maggie Turns To Flies"---the most gorgeous slab
of guitar fury and singing in the entire rock pantheon!

mayretta sweat ,

Good Stuff

Top notch Pollard!

Napoleon Drake ,

Consistency is a nice word...

Pollard knows exactly what he's doing and he's enjoying every minute of it. This album isn't grammy material, and it certainly doesn't take us all the way back to GBV's roots, but "Elephant Jokes" achieves great heights due to its short and sweet tracks and ambitious energy.

More By Robert Pollard

You May Also Like