Robert Pollard is a walking treasure trove of great song ideas, riffs, hooks and general weirdness that only serves to set him miles apart from any pretender to his undisputed crown as King Of Tasty Pop/Rock Songs. This full-length record is yet another in the gigantic string of completely great releases that he introduces to the world on a very regular basis.
I found my foot tapping and my brain firing new neurons as his incredibly well-crafted constructions washed into my ears like waves of bliss. The lesser-interested might listen to this and wonder he stopped Guided By Voices in the first place, since you might argue that this sounds as well-produced as the best of that band’s work at TVT. But they’d be completely missing the point. While GBV would be one of the only bands I sincerely hope might reunite one day (even if only briefly, because those players deserve to be heard forever too), at the same time I don’t care who he’s working with at any given time, so long as he’s working. Pollard’s greatest strength is the writing of indelibly strong songs, no matter what name he might be operating under at the time.
This is a great rock record. His voice soars over massive riffs, and he effortlessly spits out hooks so as to make anyone aspiring to his heights feel like they have a ton of work left to do (and they surely do). True, sometimes he’ll make records where a few of the tracks are just weird enough that they mess with the continuity of the listening experience (and I love those too, you know), but on this record he’s offering up nothing but great song after great song after great song. What a feast!
I’ve always wondered (and it happened again as I happily absorbed each song on this record, over and over) why this man’s work remains on the (relative) fringes. What is wrong with people? Why isn’t this on the main New Releases racks and flying on the shelves faster than Britney or 50 Cent or any of the other horseshit that sells way more than common sense should dictate? How could he have remained under the radar of absolute hugeness for so long? Surely (by now) you’ll concede he deserves it!
Then again, maybe it’s better this way. Maybe he can remain our little secret of awesomeness, and we can selfishly devour each release (as I did with this one, same as all the rest) and know that we are the ones who really know where it’s at. Let the idiots buy the pap that pacifies their atrophied brains. We’ve got a genius working to favour us with his output, and we’re all the better for it.
I read somewhere online that this is supposed to be his only release (under his own name) for 2008. But this is only June! Surely the man can, as he has always done in the past, whip up another collection (or three) of confections and sate us, his grateful listeners? He could release a new album every week, as far as I’m concerned.
01 The Original Heart
02 The Blondes
03 1 Years Old
04 Gratification To Concrete
05 No One But I
06 Weatherman And Skin Goddess
07 Confessions Of A Teenage Jerk-Off
08 To The Path!
09 Western Centipede
10 Wealth And Hell Being