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coverpic flag US - Ohio - Full Moon 99 - 10/28/04

Guided By Voices
Half Smiles of the Decomposed
Matador Records

Don't know how many songs former teacher Robert Pollard has written and recorded over the last 20 years but what I do know is that he should've been given some major award from the principal at the school of pop. Half Smiles of the Decomposed is the swan-song from Guided By Voices as Pollard has decided to close down the band, but hopefully Robert Pollard will focus even more on an ever so creative solo career (a career up and running for years already). Guiding us throughout a long line of new pop songs. And, yes, just as you Americans very soon are lining up for the polls: Pollard for President!

Half Smiles of the Decomposed is of course not matching Alien Lanes or Bee Thousand but it makes me smile, leaving nothing but good feelings and happy thoughts. Far from being as fuzzy and furry and lo-fi as Guided by Voices albums used to be like, but still holding that lo-fi feel. A dry-roasted bitter-sweetness. But more sweet than bitter, mind you. With a solid taste of honey. Listening to GbV makes me feel like Winnie the Pooh with one paw permanently stuck in the jar. Not able and not wanting to remove it.

As the slogan says: In Bob we trust.

Copyright © 2004 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Guided By Voices articles/reviews: Let's Go Eat The Factory, Mag Earwhig!, The Charlotte, Leicester, UK, 28.09.03.

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