Music Reviews

Robert Pollard

Waved Out (Matador). Review by Morgan P. Engle

Robert Pollard

Waved Out


One listen to “Subspace Biographies,” the three-minute shot of scrappy power-pop that serves as the lead single on Robert Pollard’s second solo effort, Waved Out, will erase any speculations that Pollard is moving away from the deadly infectious rock `n’ roll songwriting that has marked his full-time muse, Guided By Voices. Bolstered by Doug Gillard’s chugging guitar work, the song finds Pollard churning out the kind of warped lyrics and gleaming vocal melodies that define his best stuff, only here it’s polished to a brighter shine by his increasing comfort in a studio setting. The rest of Waved Out follows a similar course: Pollard’s writing still maintains the insane pop/rock genius that has fueled GBV all these years but it makes me wonder — why he didn’t just call this a GBV album? It’s not like there is any standard lineup for GBV in the first place. Sure, in some cases he will have the same group of people for a few years, and then ZAP, they are all gone and a new group of friends/musicians will pop into their shoes. I guess Mr. Pollard has been doing this long enough that he is able to discern between what is a solo album and what is not. I just wish he would fill us in on that little secret. Matador Records, 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10012-2319

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