Top Of The Pops

Robert Pollard - Normal Happiness
Robert Pollard - Moon

After getting his prog on earlier this year with a sprawling double album (From A Compound Eye), Robert Pollard's second post-GBV solo album finds him focusing on the tightly crafted pop gems that made him an indie rock icon. Only three of the sixteen songs on Normal Happiness clock in at over 2 1/2 minutes, and the longest track on the album only exceeds that mark by 62 seconds. Aided by producer/multi-instrumentalist Todd Tobias, Normal Happiness sounds like "best of" collection culled from the poppiest songs from Guided By Voices final three albums. The highlight of the album, "Rhoda Rhoda," is probably the best pure pop tune Pollard has written since 2001's "Glad Girls." If his solo albums and side projects have been a little to out there for you lately, this is a great opportunity to jump back on board.

Robert Pollard - "Supernatural Car Lover" (mp3)

Full album stream from Merge

This is a demo version of another song from the album. If you're a fan of Guided By Voices' old school lo-fi aesthetic, you might prefer it to the finished version.

Robert Pollard - "Top Of My Game (Demo)" (mp3)

Moon is a full length live album available as a free bonus when you buy Normal Happiness from independent record stores, or via mail order from
Merge. Recorded at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati on June 24, 2006, the album captures the complete set that Robert Pollard and the Ascended Masters played during their two date stint opening for Pearl Jam this summer. The setlist pulls heavily Pollard's first post-GBV solo album, with nine of its fourteen songs found on From A Compound Eye. Since Bob and company usually play at least two hours during their headling shows, its interesting to hear them playing within the confines of a streamlined forty minute set. Its possibly the most tightly focused set Pollard has played in years. And probably his most sober set too.

Robert Pollard - "The Right Thing (Live)" (mp3)

post title by
The Smithereens


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