Release Date: Jun 10, 2008
Record label: Guided by Voices
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
In the final years of Guided by Voices' existence, it became clear that the band was for all practical purposes Robert Pollard and whoever else he decided was a member of GBV (confirmed after Pollard fired the rest of the group and hired Cobra Verde to take their place prior to the recording of 1997's Mag Earwhig!), so when Pollard retired the band at the end of 2004 and relaunched himself as a solo act in 2006, it shouldn't have made much of a difference. But it did -- where once Robert Pollard albums were idiosyncratic detours from Guided by Voices' exercises in lo-fi pop genius, now the "real" albums and the chaff were all mixed together, and as Pollard's stack of solo albums grew, they became increasingly unfocused, covering the same stylistic territory over and over again with the law of diminishing returns taking its inevitable toll. In 2008, Pollard seems to have finally realized he'd taken a wrong turn and needed some fresh directions -- he parted ways with Merge Records, the primary label for his post-GBV work, formed a new label called Guided by Voices Inc.
Last October, when former Guided By Voices leader Robert Pollard released two albums on the same day (the lackluster Coast to Coast Carpet of Love and the mostly dreadful Standard Gargoyle Decisions), he made the latest (and possibly worst) in a long line of concessions of quantity over quality. The joint albums' 33 tracks featured only one or two stunners, and 30 tracks of middling material that Pollard has topped on many of his other 1,000 BMI-registered songs. But he's announced that Robert Pollard is off to Business, his thirteenth solo album (roughly), will be his only solo release in 2008.
Since dissolving Guided by Voices in 2004, Bob Pollard has released at least seventeen records. Seems like a good time to weigh in. Robert Pollard is off to Business, nominally a solo project, features Todd Tobias (late-period GBV producer and brother of GBV bassist Tim Tobias) playing all of the instruments and Pollard singing. The two recorded independently, and the sound suffers for it.