Review : Robert Pollard - The Crawling Distance
CourantBlessed are fans of Robert Pollard. For more than 20 years, first as leader of Guided by Voices — a rotating cast of musicians he alone presided over — and later as a solo artist, Pollard has released music with stunning frequency.
Most of this work has been of uniform quality — a dank, dense brand of psychedelic power-pop that, while beloved by hard-core followers, often makes for frustrating listening.
"The Crawling Distance," Pollard's umpteenth disc since officially going solo in 2004, offers more of what listeners have come to expect. Recalling accessible GBV albums such as "Under the Bushes, Under the Stars," the 10-song collection is at once hummable and impenetrable — a pleasant half-hour that leaves almost no impression....full text
PopmattersIf Robert Pollard’s post-GBV career has seemed a bit aimless and impermanent, it’s not due to a lack of output. Uncle Bob is as prolific as ever, but for the past couple of years his career has seemed to lack a sturdy center. Guided by Voices was always the foundation of his career, and his solo work and side projects were curious, and sometimes brilliant, offshoots.
It would be logical for his solo work to step up and become the focal point of Pollard’s career with GBV gone, but his recent solo albums have been good but not great. They certainly yield their share of catchy Pollard-ian bliss, but they don’t rise high enough above the Takeover albums or the Circus Devils albums to rest his career on them....full text
SpinThis solo album by the ridiculously prolific former Guided by Voices leader, with help from instrumental accomplice Todd Tobias, features another ten songs of standard Pollard-isms -- vaguely British, Robyn Hitchcock–esque vocals warped by reverb and Echoplex mazes; surrealistic, first-thought-next-thought lyrics; sudden loud crunches of lo-fi guitar; and melodies that soar but never quite achieve the permanence of his best work. One notable change: He's actually easing up and expanding some songs past the three-and even four-minute mark. Dare we call him a balladeer?...full text
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