Robert Pollard

From a Compound Eye

Those still (literally or figuratively) weeping since the 2004 dissolution of Guided by Voices may rejoice — consolation is here via the solo debut of Robert Pollard, Mr. GBV himself. Bob is still following his muse, which means more adorably lo-fi, maladroit-yet-winsome pop tunes with glitter-rock crunch and subtle undertones of Brit prog-rock, not to mention droll lyrics and heartfelt, harmonious vocals. Pick hit: “I’m a Widow,” driven by a terse guitar motif (echoes of Stardust-era Bowie, T. Rex, or Mott the Hoople), plenty of fuzztone and wah-wah pedal in the break, and a slyly insistent, lusty chorus you won’t be able to shake (I’m a widow and I’m hot to do you). With its five-minute length and sweepingly suitelike structure, “Conqueror of the Moon” is Pollard’s very own mini-Sgt. Pepper, and for stark contrast, there’s the bittersweet acoustic ruminations of “Payment for the Babies.” The only major missteps during Eye‘s seventy-plus minutes are the few selections where he adopts a “How much distortion can I put into a song before it sounds like shit?” approach. Aside from those, Pollard’s Midas touch endures.

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