Friday, November 11, 2005

Early surprise from Uncle Bob

Play it: Robert Pollard From a Compound Eye

After achieving cult-status with the band Guided By Voices, Robert Pollard retired the name last year (last show was New Year's Day in Chicago,) but promised not to stop writing songs. And how could you expect a man who once said "I go to take a sh*t and come out with four songs... and three of 'em are great!" to stop writing? Well, he's put those non-fears to rest with this double-album (yes, FaCE is a double-album!) due to come out this January 24th.

By some miracle, it's in Rhapsody right now, so take advantage of it pronto (in case it's a mistake - it's not available for Rhaps-to-go, which makes sense [UPDATE - now available!]) Merge Records plan a vinyl release that comes with a digital locker of all the songs upon purchase, which is a brilliant idea (if it works.)

My first impressions are that it's going to be a classic. It doesn't have the feel of typical GBV or any of his other offshoot projects, yet harkens back to them just the same. That's part of the reason given for shutting the doors at GBV Inc., because Bob was tired of writing for the expectation of the band. Well, FaCE like he's achieved his defying of expectations, and I consider that a boon to my ears. Not really a dud here, like w/ most his sprawling projects, and while it may not necessarily equal the brilliance of his Not in My Airforce, first impressions have me feeling it comes close. "Dancing Girls and Dancing Men" and "U.S. Mustard Company" are beautifully orchestrated, and are Bob at his poppiest. "I'm a Widow" is a high octane late 60's flavor, and sounds like a lost track from the aforementioned Not in My Airforce, while "I Surround You Naked" and "Recovery" sound like they could've been standout tracks on either of the last couple GBV releases. Not to be left out, Bob's prog-rock offshoot band Circus Devils also appear to be stylistically represented with "50-Year old Baby," "Conquerer of the Moon," and "Numbered Head."

So you could say Bob is all over the place... but he's all over his spacious place, so take a seat on the old sofa, kick up your legs and crack open a beer... the club is back open.

More:
Check out the book Guided by Voices: A Brief History : Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll by James Greer w/ intro by Steven Soderbergh

Previously:
The Electrifying Conclusion Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

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5 comments:

drake leLane said...

Robert Pollard From a Compound Eye

01. Gold
02. Field Jacket Blues
03. Dancing Girls And Dancing Men
04. Flowering Orphans
05. The Right Thing
06. U.S. Mustard Company
07. The Numbered Head
08. I'm A Widow
09. Fresh Threads, Salad Shooters And Zip Guns
10. Kick Me And Cancel
11. Other Dogs Remain
12. Kensington Cradle
13. Love Is Stronger Than Witchcraft
14. Hammer In Your Eyes
15. 50-Year-Old Baby
16. I Surround You Naked
17. Cock Of The Rainbow
18. Conquerer Of The Moon
19. Blessed In An Open Head
20. A Boy In Motion
21. Denied
22. Light Show
23. I'm A Strong Lion
24. Payment For The Babies
25. Kingdom Without
26. Recovering

J Shifty said...

Thanks a heap for the tip, senor! This certainly makes for an auspicious beginning to the audio work week.

drake leLane said...

yeah, you know I didn't realize just how big this is... I mean it's Robert Pollard and all, so only huge to geeks like us, but this album isn't even available for pre-order yet!

Anonymous said...

Strange -- it no longer works. That's pretty mean of Rhapsody to tease us like that.

drake leLane said...

Hey, you're right... I wonder what happened? Maybe it was a mistake to have it in there at all (as I mused all paranoid-like in the post.)

I should've purchased the album from the music store when I had the chance, instead of just milking my listening through Rhapsody-to-go.