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Lord of the Birdcage

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iTunes Review

Robert Pollard isn’t going to slow down, so it’s up to his fans to keep up. His voluminous recording output gets even more ridiculous when you consider that aside from frequent solo records he also releases records with Boston Spaceships and Keene Brothers. For this album, Pollard opted to reverse the writing process and put music to his previously written lyrics. It doesn’t change things much, but there is a notably economy here. Where many of his post-Guided by Voices songs have sounded like mad Kerouac dreams feverishly dashed off, songs such as “Dunce Codex,” “In a Circle” and “Ribbon of Fat” have a distinct focus to them. There are still primitive mash-ups like “You Can’t Challenge Forward Progress” and “Silence Before Violence,” but it’s likely these songs scan better than most. The proto-boogie of “Ash Ript Telecopter,” the mounting tension of “Holy Fire” and the agitated guitar jabs of “You Sold Me Quickly” prove the man has yet to run out of ideas.

Customer Reviews

More beautiful pop noise

This album is closest in feel to We All Got Out of the Army- mostly driven by power pop, but a couple more abrasive tracks here and there. I've found myself singing the refrain from Garden Smarm over and over and over again...

This is Pollard's fourth album in a little more than four months, in the first half of 2011 (including the Lifeguards and Mars Classroom projects), and it's a brilliant record. There is simply no one better at doing what he does.


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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