Robert Pollard From a Compound Eye

[Merge; 2006]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: hard-drinking rock ‘n’ roll, mate
Others: Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout, lots of boring indie imitators

Do I really need to introduce any of you to Robert Pollard? I'm sure some part of the two-dozen Guided By Voices albums coupled with all the various Robert Pollard solo and collaborative efforts have found their way to your ears at some point in life. By now, you've probably decided that you either love, hate, or tolerate Pollard's dump truck output.

So now I bring to you the latest Robert Pollard solo disc””his first proper solo disc since GBV dissolved into a memory””and you ask what's new? Well, nothing really. It's not as if Bob is an envelope pusher or some sort of mad musical scientist. What you will get with From A Compound Eye is your typical gourmet spread of Pollard delicacies from the modern eras of Bob. "Lightshow" and "Conqueror of the Moon" harken the days of Earthquake Glue. "The Right Thing" is straight from Bee Thousand's playbook, while "Love is Stronger Than Witchcraft" is an updated take on Do The Collapse. There are even some tracks that remind me of Mag Earwhig's (and Billy Mumfrey's) unbridled enthusiasm, like the punky "I Surround You Naked" and the equally rocking "A Boy in Motion." However easy it is to make comparisons to GBV albums of the past, these songs are just as fresh as their predecessors. Pollard will always work within his own borders, but he's still able to expand and challenge them in present day indie America.

From the slow-burners ("Cock of the Rainbow," "Payment for the Babies," "Fresh Threats, Salad Shooters and Zip Guns.") to the bombastic indie rockers ("Field Jacket Blues," "Kingdom Without"), Pollard has packed it all into the 26 tracks of From A Compound Eye, and they all stand up to whatever measuring stick GBV fans will use to gauge their greatness. Whether Bob is using this album as his final goodbye to the past or yet another launching pad into a different indie rock stratosphere is yet to be seen, but does it really matter? Good rock is good rock, and Robert Pollard is still as capable as ever.

1. Gold
2. Field Jacket Blues
3. Dancing Girls and Dancing Men
4. A Flowering Orphan
5. The Right Thing
6. U.S. Mustard Company
7. The Numbered Head
8. I'm a Widow
9. Fresh Threats, Salad Shooters, and Zip Guns
10. Kick Me and Cancel
11. Other Dogs Remain
12. Kensington Cradle
13. Love is Stronger Than Witchcraft
14. Hammer in Your Eyes
15. 50 Year-Old Baby
16. I Surround You Naked
17. Cock of the Rainbow
18. Conqueror of the Moon
19. Blessed in an Open Head
20. A Boy in Motion
21. Denied
22. Lightshow
23. I'm a Strong Lion
24 Payment for the Babies
25. Kingdom Without
26. Recovering

Most Read