12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Who needs a "Best of"?
, November 21, 2012
This review is from: The Bears for Lunch (Audio CD)
With the release of The Bears For Lunch, Guided By Voices 3rd LP in 2012, some critics are saying Bob should have consolidated his efforts and made only one "Best of" GBV album this year.
For the sake of science and against my opinion that the above criticism is bologna, I will reluctantly make a 21 track song list (21 songs being the average length) from Bob's 2012 Guided By Voices releases. The songs are in no particular sequence, just as you would likely get in an arbitrary best of compilation. I've simply typed them down as I thought of them.
1. White Flag
2. Chocolate Boy
3. The Head
5. She Lives in an Airport
6. The Challenge is Much More
7. Imperial Racehorsing
8. Breathing (B Side)
9. Class Clown Spots a UFO
10. Hang Up and Try Again
11. Chain to the Moon
12. Waving at Airplanes
13. Waking up the Stars
14. Everywhere is Miles from Everywhere
16. Tyson's Highschool
17. Hang Over Child
18. Laundry & Lasers
19. How I Met My Mother
20. King Arthur the Red
21. Doughnut for a Snowman
All this proves is that I chose the wrong songs.
In fact I would strongly argue that there isn't any single choice or arrangement of 21 songs that would be a sufficient substitute for the 75 sequenced songs (61 LP tracks + 14 B-sides) GBV have released since January.
How could anyone who seriously gives a damn about this band and value what makes their contribution to music undeniably inventive and thrilling think that this would be a plausible solution? If Bob Pollard had only released one Guided By Voices album of 21 songs this year, then we would be only hearing 28% of his output intended for GBV.
I am thrilled that Bob, Toby, Greg, Mitch and Kevin are enjoying making music again together and at this caliber. I want to be able to explore their albums as I would have a yard sale (back before the days of Craig's List or Ebay) and sift for the treasures myself. I don't want the sequencing of Bob's story omitted. I want to hear the abrupt power chord at the end of "Keep it Motion" that leads us into "Tyson's High School" etc.
Which brings us to the review. The Bears for Lunch is my favorite album of GBV's releases this year. "Waving At Airplanes", "White Flag", "She Lives in An Airport", "Waking Up the Stars" are up to par with what the band produced back in the '92-'96 period. There are a number of instantly strong rockers, "King Arthur the Red", "Hangover Child", "The Challenge is Much More", "Everywhere is Miles from Everywhere" -- there are also many idiosyncratic gems, "Finger Gang", "The Military School Dance Dismissal", "Smoggy Boy" -- and earnest sentiments, "You Can Fly Anything Right". There's not a lemon in the bunch in my opinion, but make your own call.
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