Robert Pollard probably is an Indie-Rock genius. The problem with a genius is, that he is often not understood by the people of his time. What I am trying to say, is that I am truly fascinated by Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices, but somehow I am not sure I ever really got the music. Nevertheless I have continously bought and listened to GBV albums (I have 6). Now that GBV have ceased to exist, it seemed to be appropriate to check out Robert Pollard ‘s solo-album, to continue my quest.
I can’t really say, that I’ve made progress in my understanding of Robert Pollard, but I must say that this is probably one of his better albums.
The album is really meant to be a vinyl double album, and one single CD (or one iPod playlist) with 26 songs in a row (70 minutes) is a bit overwhelming. But variety is high and one cannot say that everything sounds the same. Dancing Girls and Dancing Men is pure melodic pop, Kensington Cradle is noisy and experimental, just to take two fairly random examples.
Overall the style, of course, stays true to Pollard’s roots and and Lo-Fi rules, but I guess Lo-Fi today doesn’t necessarily have to mean a 4-Track Cassetterecorder anymore.
So if you like Guided By Voices, you should like From A Compound Eye. If you are not familiar with GBV, this could actually be a good starting point, as it really covers a wide variety of typical Pollard styles.