Robert Pollard

Normal Happiness | Merge
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  November 13, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

UNCLE BOB: Pollard’s filler is better than most people’s gold.

Only a fool would’ve taken Guided by Voices’ 2004 break-up as a reason to believe we’d heard the last from frontman Robert Pollard, a Budweiser-slugging former grade-school teacher who’s never met a three-chord hook he didn’t like. GBV were only the most popular repository of Pollard’s songwriting habits; even while the band were around he was releasing collections of one- and two-minute gems under his own name and a litany of pseudonyms. Normal Happiness, the quick follow-up to the post-GBV solo debut he released earlier this year, could be one of his most satisfying sets: it’s tight and snappy, with career highlights like the woozy piano ballad “Serious Bird Woman,” which could convince a drunk person he’s listening to Coldplay’s “Yellow,” and the appropriately titled “Accidental Texas Who,” which does a better job of impersonating Pete Townshend’s old maximum-R&B band than the new Who record does. Of course, with Pollard, highlights aren’t the point — the career is. This dude loves filler just as much as gold.

Robert Pollard + Starling Electric | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | November 17 | 617.228.6000

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