14 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Retiring the name Guided by Voices is merely a technicality. The "band" has always been Robert Pollard and a revolving, shifting cast. He has since continued as a "solo" act and with his "band," Boston Spaceships, both of which would be difficult to tell apart in a blindfold test. In the end, the arrangements may be slightly different, but it always comes back to Pollard's British-inspired vocals, his stream-of-consciousness lyrics, and his knack for a Brit-invasion, new-wave-styled melody. Half Smiles of the Decomposed is the "final" GBV album, but it doesn't play much like a final chapter. It sounds like a mere continuation of everything the band has always accomplished. "Sleep Over Jack" stretches towards post-punk territory with electronic blips and jump-cut vocal edits. "Girls of Wild Strawberries" is the imaginary hit single. Several tunes ("Sons of Apollo," Sing for Your Meat") sail over the four-minute mark. "Window of My World" bends towards Pollard's acoustic side. Pollard remains strong until the end. And then some.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Retiring the name Guided by Voices is merely a technicality. The "band" has always been Robert Pollard and a revolving, shifting cast. He has since continued as a "solo" act and with his "band," Boston Spaceships, both of which would be difficult to tell apart in a blindfold test. In the end, the arrangements may be slightly different, but it always comes back to Pollard's British-inspired vocals, his stream-of-consciousness lyrics, and his knack for a Brit-invasion, new-wave-styled melody. Half Smiles of the Decomposed is the "final" GBV album, but it doesn't play much like a final chapter. It sounds like a mere continuation of everything the band has always accomplished. "Sleep Over Jack" stretches towards post-punk territory with electronic blips and jump-cut vocal edits. "Girls of Wild Strawberries" is the imaginary hit single. Several tunes ("Sons of Apollo," Sing for Your Meat") sail over the four-minute mark. "Window of My World" bends towards Pollard's acoustic side. Pollard remains strong until the end. And then some.

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