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Elephant Jokes

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iTunes Review

Guided by Voices may be a distant memory in 2009, but Robert Pollard isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Elephant Jokes arrives just as his other “bands“ Boston Spaceships and Circus Devils continue their prodigious output. These 22 tracks are Pollard continuing his foray into whatever amuses him. “Johnny Optimist” begins things with a tough classic rock FM radio guitar alongside Pollard’s own leisurely, mocking tone. “Symbols and Heads,” “Epic Heads,” and “Stiff Me” churn with Pollard’s by now standard guitar-based stream-of-consciousness pop. It’s all a bit exhausting at nearly two dozen tracks, but Pollard rarely dwells and the use of mellotron and other psychedelic touches make everything sound hopelessly wistful and retro and bizarrely modern in that beautifully arbitrary, detached way. Pollard’s albums are like a personal iPod set on random. Find the ballad (“Desiring”), the pop hook (“Hippsville (Where the Frisbees Fly Forever),” “Jimmy”) and the space jam (“Tattered Lily,” “Architectural Nightmare Man”) and prepare for take-off.

Customer Reviews

Pollards "Pringles"

To break the terrible onslought of the three word review: Bob Pollard albums are a lot like buying potato chips in a can. You know you're gonna get some broken chips; but you buy 'em anyway."Elephant Jokes" is no exception. After what seemed like a "band mentality" success of Boston Spaceships, Bob has teamed this caustic solo effort with Todd Tobias' soundscapes (heavy guitar treatments and even an "x-files" synth on "Cosmic Yellow Children"). "Newly Selected Dirt Spot" and "Pigeon Tripping" seem to suffer the most from layering poetry on music files,but the gems (tracks 2,5,11,12,14,19,21) find their place alongside Bobs' best solo work. Spanning the beauty of "Tattered Lilly" and "(All You Need) To Know" to the anthemic rock of "Johnny Optimist" and "Symbols and Heads" you are sure to find those perfect "chips" to savor and add to the Pollard canon. For the novice: go immeadiately to Bobs' first solo "Not In My Airforce" and download "Maggie Turns To Flies"---the most gorgeous slab of guitar fury and singing in the entire rock pantheon!

Good Stuff

Top notch Pollard!


Sounds very strong


Born: October 31, 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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