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Let It Beard


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Vinyl, August 2, 2011
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (August 2, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Guided By Voices
  • ASIN: B0055T3RC4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,201 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Double vinyl LP pressing. Robert Pollard has called the epic 2011 double-LP Let It Beard ''a subconscious concept album about the sorry state of Rock 'n' Roll.'' A 75-minute thrill ride through the many forms Pollard has mastered in his three-plus decades of writing and recording, it's ''the White Album meets Quadrophenia meets Jesus Christ Superstar,'' in his words. Let It Beard features strings, horns, keyboards, a female soul singer and guest turns from such luminaries as Colin Newman from Wire, J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr, Steve Wynn from the Dream Syndicate, Mick Collins from The Dirtbombs, Dave Rick from Phantom Tollbooth and Mitch Mitchell from Guided By Voices.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
My first thought was: "Dang, some great titles, Bob."
Gregory William Locke
His sound has evolved subtly, and Let It Beard reflects this well and continues RP's evolution in new ways.
The Last Person You'd Expect
This album is the best thing I've heard from him in years, by far.
Zen_digo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By The Last Person You'd Expect on August 6, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm a fanatical listener of Pollard projects, I admit, but when judging his work, I try to be realistic. I believe this to be his fifth album this year under one banner or another. There have been twenty-some albums since his best-known band officially called it quits in 2005 or so. I've probably heard 90% of the post-GBV output. So, while I'm reluctant to say it, because it will sound unbelievable, but here goes: this is his best album of this period and probably among the top five of his career. It might sound like I'm only excited to have something new, but I promise I haven't said that about any other of his albums. I've been excited about other releases, like From a Compound Eye, ...Off to Business, the first Boston Spaceships, and a couple others, but this really is a notch or two above what has been for the most part a solid career on RP's part. And just to be clear, GBV is ancient history at this point. Many will call this his best since GBV, but this isn't meant to imply it sounds as such. His sound has evolved subtly, and Let It Beard reflects this well and continues RP's evolution in new ways.

But more specifically: This album is *strong*, from start to finish. Like Exile On Main Street or Quadrophenia, there aren't that many tracks that you'd pick out for a greatest hits comp (while 'Tabby and Lucy' might be a good start), but it blows through such a variety of styles and moods with such energy that even at 80 min, it doesn't sound that long. I think it helps to be acquainted with Pollard's general aesthetic to begin with, as it's really quite different from regular 'indie'. It's very unpretentious and ego-free, in that he never sings about himself or emote self-indulgently.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gregory William Locke on August 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Every now and again former Guided by Voices frontman Robert Pollard, known for his overly prolific approach to releasing records, works quite a bit harder on one of his records than he does his many others. A few years ago he released a double record called From a Compound Eye - he worked kinda/sorta hard on that one. Then he released Normal Happiness a few months later, which he also seemingly worked more on than most of his other post-Guided by Voices records. Since those two albums he's released at least another 20 albums under a number of different monikers. Not joke, 20, maybe even 30 full length records.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love Pollard (especially Alien Lanes, Bee Thousand, the last three GBV albums and the above mentioned Compound Eye and Normal Happiness), but I find him to be an almost always infuriating artist to love. (Why, you ask? Because a man with his pop craft ability could and should be releasing 12 amazing songs - and no more - every year or two.) Coming up to date, Pollard has already released four or five albums this year (I stopped counting); and so when I heard about a new release called Let It Beard, to be released under his Boston Spaceships moniker, I just wasn't all that excited. I mean, Pollard has undeniably put the most work into the Boston Spaceships stuff over the last few years, calling it his "core project," but I just figured we'd get another 20ish-song record with three or four good/great tracks.

Not the case. Not exactly. We get a pretty damn long album this time, clocking in at 26 songs over 76 minutes - a proper double album. And sure, there are some not-so-hot songs here and there, but, for the most part, Let it Beard is a very good, very complete sounding album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zen_digo on August 28, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan since 1995 - Alien Lanes is one of the best rock n roll albums of all time. By the end of GBV I was losing interest. Robert Pollard's music just wasn't doing it for me as much as the older stuff. There were a few songs here and there that I liked but I didn't even bother to buy the last two GBV albums when they came out. That's not to say the man isn't a genius, or that those albums were bad. There was just something a little predictable as if the same feelings were being evoked over and over and I had moved on. I bought a few of his other projects but I don't buy every single Pollard record.

This album is the best thing I've heard from him in years, by far. It grows on you and that is the first trait of a great album. At first listen you might not catch it. But after a few listens it becomes one of those rare albums that will stay with you for a long time. The songs are great, the lyrics are great. It is not boring. I didn't know he could write a song like Inspiration Points anymore - I was not expecting this one. It is a jaw dropping rocker that I listened to over and over just like songs on his older stuff.

Even if you are like me and don't really follow Robert Pollard anymore, do yourself a favor and get Boston Spaceships - Let It Beard. He nailed this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank Smith on August 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Recently I wrote a gushing review of Robert Pollard's astonishing Lord of the Birdcage. Recordings like the stellar Lord of the Birdcage -- and now the latest, massive Boston Spaceships' effort Let it Beard -- make it abundantly clear that Pollard's best work is not well behind him with his Guided By Voices records. If anything Pollard just gets better with age. Sure a few of his tunes can feel tossed-off and half-baked, but the man is a careening freight train of song ideas. Better not stop that train; there could be dire consequences. Boston Spaceships includes Chris Shisarenko and John Moen and a pile of great guest musicians. A dizzying, ambitious collection of 26 songs and about 76 minutes of music, Let It Beard does get all weird like the title track intones. But it's all a very good weird, believe me. Starting out of the gate with the skittering Blind 20-20, which morphs into a lilting reference to Chevy Marigold, we have everything from garage rock, punk-like blasts of noise to melodious Beatlesque folk and every point in between. For all its raw energy and sheer verve, this album is as carefully planned and notated as the most elaborate classical symphony. That humming bit that Pollard adds to Tourist UFO just before J Mascis's blistering, beautiful electric solo is so perfectly placed. The horns in I'll Make It Strong for You and Christmas Girl are pure genius. The stunning Let More Light Into The House relies on a lovely plucked, circular acoustic guitar riff with just a touch of banjo. That track is a mini-epic. Great songs are in abundance here. The simple, sing-along melody of The Ballad of Bad Whiskey floored me immediately. A Dozen Blue Overcoats, with Gordon Withers playing cello is lovely as is No Steamboats.Read more ›
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