Robert Pollard Coast to Coast Carpet of Love / Standard Gargoyle Decisions

[Merge; 2007]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: drunken elementary schoolteacher indie pop rock
Others: Guided By Voices (duh), Dose One (for his output), Bob Mould

AN OPEN LETTER TO ROBERT POLLARD: Too much, Bobby Pollard. Too much! You’ve over-saturated your own market. We know your credo/motto/M.O. is to make use of everything (each song’s a keeper!), but things are getting ridiculous. Guided by Voices was a different scenario. You kept the songs short and packed with sudden glimpses of beauty, hook, and idiosyncrasy. Now, you’re letting songs reach the three-minute mark, a mark someone with your output should avoid. The math isn’t working out. Many albums of short songs: okay. Many albums of long songs: I CAN’T CATCH MY BREATH! It’s one thing to be prolific; it’s another thing to be excessive.

Two albums released on one day, Bobby Pollard? That’s one album too many. Let up on us. You’ve got me clamped between your legs — calves and hamstrings squeezing — in a scissor lock. These aren’t short affairs either. Coast to Coast Carpet of Love has 16 tracks. Standard Gargoyle Decisions has 17. Show some discretion, man! You’re middle-aged; you should be showing signs of slowing down. Heck, at least slow down to a pace where you aren’t delivering two albums on the same day. Take a look at other musicians who have attempted this two-albums-in-a-day feat. I can’t recall one case of success.

What it comes down to, ultimately, is there is too much to handle. How can you expect a listener to absorb all these songs? It would take quite a degree of devotion. Dedicated fans, I suppose. It’s overwhelming. One can detect variety in the heap, but variety even sounds redundant when we’re dealing with 33 tunes. The whole project is sullied. Whittle it down, Bobby Pollard. Set some limits. I promise, it won’t take up too much time selecting songs you feel best represent your current output. Vomiting up these entire meals — enough to feed America’s hungry — isn’t good for us, and can’t be good for your esophagus. You aren’t doing yourself any favors hurling all this material in our lap. It’s just hurting out sperm counts and applying unwelcome pressure on our uteruses. Have mercy!

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