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Album Review

Following the breakup of Guided by Voices at the end of 2004, Robert Pollard's first release was a comedy album culled from his beer-powered stage banter (talk about your auspicious debuts!), but the brief EP Zoom marked his first public musical statement in the post-GBV epoch. Given Pollard's long-standing habit of tossing off pop songs with almost alarming speed, Zoom is a predictably casual four-song affair, with cryptic found recordings taking up the spaces between songs. There's a nice, slightly jazzy guitar instrumental ("Dr. Fuji and Henry Charleston [Zoom Variation]"), a not-quite-finished-sounding acoustic number ("Have a Day Mr. Clay"), and two good if not great pop tunes in the traditional Pollard manner ("Catherine From Mid-October" and "Zoom [It Happens All Over the World]"). In short, this represents the newly solo Pollard sounding pretty much the same way he always has — which, given the ups and downs of his back catalog (especially the Fading Captain material), could be a bad thing as easily as a good thing. For fans only.


Born: 31 October 1957 in Dayton, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the things that made Guided by Voices' rise from underground curios to indie superstars in the early '90s so noteworthy was that vocalist/guitarist Robert Pollard was also a teacher, an uncommon occupation for rock & roll idols. Pollard was born on October 31, 1957, in Dayton, Ohio. As a child, he was groomed by his father to become a professional athlete, and pitched a no-hitter for his high-school baseball team, but in college he realized that music meant more to him than sports. Pollard...
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Zoom, Robert Pollard
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