Robert Pollard – Elephant Jokes

January 01, 1970

(Guided by
Voices Inc.)


It hasn’t been
easy keeping up with the comings and goings of Uncle Bob since the demise of
GBV but there’s no doubt he, as always, has been busier than a bee. Releasing
records of all shapes and sizes with any number of musicians. Record number …I
dunno……100? 200 ?(there has to be someone out there who has every single
release with his name on it…raise your hand if this is you) is more of the
same. 22 songs nudge up against each other and while it is a mixed bag, most of
Elephant Jokes is quite good.


Luckily he is
still making music for folks like me with very short attention spans and as a
result most of the songs on here don’t surpass the 2 minute mark. “Johnny
Optimist” (one of the longer ones at 2:55) opens with some classic jangle
riffage and those unmistakable vocals which equals gem (as does the fantastic
“Newly Selected Dirt Spots”) while “When a Man Walks Away” has some great siren-esque
guitar work and “I Felt Revolved” shows Bob’s gentler side to great effect. A
few on here should not have made the cut: the stumbling “Epic Heads”, the
overly long “Tattered Lily” and the clunky “Jimmy.” Still, for a guy who many
probably thought would go back to the classroom after GBV ended Pollard has,
once again, silenced his harshest critics.


Standout Tracks: “Newly Selected Dirt Spots”, “Johnny
Optimist”, “Cosmic Yellow Children”, “I Felt Revolved” TIM HINELY


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