10 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After two decades of music making at an unheard of level of production — his boxed sets have boxed sets of outtakes — Robert Pollard, solo or with Guided By Voices or any one of his one-off side projects, isn’t about to surprise anyone with anything other than his uncanny ability to find yet one more pop melody that he hasn’t already sung. In this case there’s the majesty of “The Blondes” that slows his manic approach just long enough to unveil a stately melody and solid harmonies that emanate from a 1960s pop that never actually existed, but was reinvented sometime in the late-70s / early ‘80s by the Soft Boys and a number of other retro-punks. At ten tracks, with most passing the three-minute mark, this is the closest to a conventional album Pollard has put together in some time. And its conventionality is what actually gives it an extra edge. Pollard sounds focused. And by not drowning his ideas in too many other ideas, tunes such as “1 Years Old,” “Gratification to Concrete,” and the sprawling lament of “Confessions of a Teenage Jerk-Off” actually stick out.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After two decades of music making at an unheard of level of production — his boxed sets have boxed sets of outtakes — Robert Pollard, solo or with Guided By Voices or any one of his one-off side projects, isn’t about to surprise anyone with anything other than his uncanny ability to find yet one more pop melody that he hasn’t already sung. In this case there’s the majesty of “The Blondes” that slows his manic approach just long enough to unveil a stately melody and solid harmonies that emanate from a 1960s pop that never actually existed, but was reinvented sometime in the late-70s / early ‘80s by the Soft Boys and a number of other retro-punks. At ten tracks, with most passing the three-minute mark, this is the closest to a conventional album Pollard has put together in some time. And its conventionality is what actually gives it an extra edge. Pollard sounds focused. And by not drowning his ideas in too many other ideas, tunes such as “1 Years Old,” “Gratification to Concrete,” and the sprawling lament of “Confessions of a Teenage Jerk-Off” actually stick out.

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Ratings and Reviews

3.8 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

misterbitterness ,

A Return to Form

Compared to "Superman Was A Rocker," Bob Pollard's new album is a godsend. Unlike his previous albums, both with GBV and apart from them, he gives his songs a chance to stretch out, with only one song under two minutes and several more over three. This new expanded form allows songs like "No One But I," "Gratification to Concrete" and "To the Path!" to realize their full potential as high-quality nuggets of modern pop, and not merely as simple sketches. The combination of "Isolation Drills" style rock with "Silverfish Trivia"-esque melodies help to create Pollard's best solo effort to date.

poidog2000 ,

Agreed, Grows On You With Each Listen

I was surprised to see the negative reviews here. This grows more familiar with each play.
In fact this is the album you'll want to play on that windows down, sunroof open, speakers loud, summer drive you can't afford to take. A nice collection of pop songs here.

j-man ,

Great Album

A fan with any interest in Guided By Voices or Robert Pollard should hear this album. Another great set of songs from Uncle Bob. My favorite is "The Blondes" but every song is worth hearing. Give it a listen!

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