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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You'd go bankrupt trying to keep up with this guy's musical output. I probably have 35 to 40 Robert Pollard/Guided By Voices related albums/singles//cd's... and among his hard core audience that would be considered an amateurish collection at best. This solo album is...not bad. I bought it simply because I love the song Subspace Biographies and I was pleasantly surprised to find some other gems as well. Not sure when this was released..but some of it sounds like it would have been at home on Universal Truths and Cycles.
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Format: Audio CD
Somewhere in the world is a band looking for that perfect hook. I have news for them. Robert Pollard already knows it, played it, and thought of ten more while you were reading this. This man continues to write melodies that are so stunning, it's almost embarrassing. Wow. Buy this album if you want to hear one of the best solo albums of all time.
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By A Customer on October 21, 1998
Format: Audio CD
you won't be dissapointed with this one! another instant classic from mr. pollard and friends, waved out proves that gbv in all its incarnations just gets better and better! at times both inspiring and sobering, mournful and joyful- a record that requires repeat listenings! enjoy!!
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By A Customer on July 11, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Okay, so everybody into Guided By Voices knows that Robert Pollard records LOTS of songs and often releases MANY discs a year. This sometimes causes a glut of GBV product to hit the market at once, so two years ago Pollard started releasing solo releases to capture the more experimental stuff. Naturally, it's not ALL experimental, and here,like on Pollard's first "solo" Not in My Airforce, you have class-A GBV material meeting and attempting to mesh with weird and even downright wacky B-side style material. The results?
Ultimately, I must admit that I'm more pleased with this album than Airforce. For one, the production is mostly good, though being from many different sources it DOES vary throughout. Pollard's influences are in high use here, from Wire to the Who to the Beatles... In fact it is from the White Album that Pollard was apparently inspired for "Showbiz Opera Walrus", perhaps the strangest track in Pollard's entire career, and that's REALLY saying something...
But then you have the A-list, and that kicks off with the first track, "Make Use", which throttles it with the best of 'em. Add the multi-textured "Subspace Biographies", the Wire-esque title track, the psychedelic "People Are Leaving" and the pretty "Pick Seeds From My Skull". And fortunately the songs in between, if not as great, are at least interesting and full of neat tricks. The largest problem, in fact is that old Pollard Problem: there's little continuity of ANY kind, ANY where. Still, a good one, a package worthy of the full GBV title, which reminds me that I'm VERY excited about the NEXT GBV package (already being recorded!) with Ric Ocasek as producer! Meantime, if you're a GBV/Pollard fan, kickback and have a some fun. In found that I did, and you can bet your Postal Blowfish that Pollard certainly is...
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Format: Audio CD
The lyrics on this one are among Bob's best--surpassed only by Kid Marine. It's a dark album, possibly autobiographical. The recurring theme seems to be fading celebrity. "Waved Out", "People are Leaving", "Artificial Light", "Make Use", "Just Say the Word", "Pick Seeds from My Skull" are the highlights.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a Bob Pollard record, not a Nick Lowe or Fountains of Wayne album. I think people seeking great craftsmanship and uniform song quality (whatever that means) are missing the point entirely. This record is a juggernaut of self-expression, albeit filtered through Pollard's left-field perspective (for better and for worse). Yes, "Waved Out" is spotty at times ("Walrus"), and much of it seems off-the-cuff ("Vibrations in the Woods"), but a little listener investment yields many rewards:

Buried (or, in many cases, barely concealed) in the opaque wordplay is a sense of loss and self-doubt that is unique among any Pollard/GBV album (except for maybe "Isolation Drills"). The album title is significant: I read a review that compellingly pointed out that the record loosely follows a "wave" concept. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but when you (even casually) take note of the SEQUENCE of the tunes along with those tunes' tempo, tone, and subject matter, you can literally feel the emotional wave--elation/anxiety building to a crest then crashing. Example:

1. Make Use

2. Vibrations in the Woods

3. Just Say the Word.

I think these three songs create a "wave," so to speak. And if this is too hippie for you, pardon me. "Make Use" is the manic intro (wave building); "Vibrations" is the crest (that's why it's such a short song--a "throwaway," right?); and "Just Say the Word" is (and FEELS) like the crashed wave lapping the shore.

This pattern repeats throughout the album; the cycle typically ends with a brief (and often morose) tune. So, just for the record, the short songs are, in my opinion, there for a reason.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Pollard's best solo record. if it were released under the GBV moniker, it would widely be hailed as the greatest album he's released since Under the Bushes, Under the Stars.

One of its main strengths is its brevity. at only a little over 30 minutes, it's easily digestible and even lends itself well to repeat listens (something i can rarely do with other albums, GBV or not).

All the songs have something good to offer, and many are vital additions to Pollard's catalogue. for instance, "Wrinkled Ghost" ranks as one of his finest pop tunes, one that Bee Thousand fans will love not only for its melody but also its fidelity (it was recorded onto an 8-track by Tobin Sprout).

"People are Leaving" is a unique song for Pollard, a rather powerful, sad song featuring two entirely different sets of vocals interweaving to nice effect.

And of course, one has to mention the mighty "Subspace Biographies," which was a popular concert favorite. One verse, an unforgettable chorus repeated a handful of times, and a catchy yet vaguely sinister keyboard riff; perfection.

I could go on and on about every song, but suffice to say Waved Out is a grower. It yields its rewards slowly and meticulously to patient listeners.

PS: I should mention that the song "Showbiz Opera Walrus" isn't all that great, but is at least subpar in a weird way. It doesn't drag the album down the same way some "serious" songs drag down a few of the later GBV albums.
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