For his tenth release since Guided by Voices disbanded, singer-songwriter Robert Pollard stays with the formula that made him an indie icon, penning obtuse, albeit infectious lyrics to British invasion-influenced melodies in stripped-down, simple guitar riffs, unembellished drum beats, and basic bass lines.
"Silk Rotor" starts the album off with a muted guitar riff before Pollard, the guitar, and drums simultaneously explode in a seven-note flourish. By the second verse, Pollard's cryptic but comical lyrics rear their seductive head: "I was coming down, like cock-blockers at a cracker dance at a wing-tip free-for-all." Six songs in, Pollard sings "Red Pyramid" in a grumble before busting out in a Bowie-influenced yell, "And you were crying from those same bloodshot eyes, and I was frozen like a specter in the cloud..."
While Pollard's lyrics and Anglo inflection on songs such as “Rice Train” and “Your Rate Will Never Go Up” border on gimmicky or contrived, and as the bright guitar tones often fuse together and turn flat, Pollard's intonation and prickled sarcasm on “Post Hydrate Update” and “Cameo of a Smile” are enough to balance the affair and convince long-time listeners that We All Got Out of the Army stands with Pollard's best.
- Album: We All Got Out of the Army (2010)
- Artist: Robert Pollard
- Label: Guided By Voices, Inc.
- Songs: (1) Silk Rotor, (2) I Can See, (3) Post Hydrate Update, (4) Your Rate Will Never Go Up, (5) On Top of the Vertigo, (6) Red Pyramid, (7) Talking Dogs, (8) Rice Train, (9) Wild Girl, (10) I'll Take The Cure, (11) Cameo of a Smile, (12) Poet Bums, (13) How Many Stations, (14) His Knighthood Photograph, (15) Face Down, (16) We All Got Out of the Army, (17) Faster to Babylon