Robert Pollard

C+

Robert Pollard

Album: Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love
Label: Merge
C-

Robert Pollard

Album: Standard Gargoyle Decisions
Label: Merge
C+

Robert Pollard

Album: Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love
Label: Merge

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C-

Robert Pollard

Album: Standard Gargoyle Decisions
Label: Merge

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Robert Pollard's songwriting process used to be about finding quality through quantity; now, sadly, he's decided quantity and quality are interchangeable. With Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love and Standard Gargoyle Decisions, the former Guided By Voices mastermind has released two full-length solo albums simultaneously, an unprecedented achievement in an already infamously prolific career. And yet there's barely an EP's worth of memorable songs between them—even for Pollard, who's always been willfully inconsistent, that isn't a good batting average. Most of the good stuff is on Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love, another in a long line of recent Pollard releases that promises a return to brilliant two-minute pop songs, but only occasionally delivers. "Dumb Lady" is a '70s soft-rock ballad with a gentle emotional pull, and the buzzing riff to "Our Gaze" will surely set GBV fans' hearts a-flutter. Only the most devout GBV disciples will find value in Standard Gargoyle Decisions, which is heavy on the kind of underwritten proggy punk-rockers usually relegated to one of Pollard's many forgettable side projects.

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