Boston Spaceships

Let It Beard

(Guided by Voices, Inc.)

Jul 29, 2011 #37 – St. Vincent Bookmark and Share


Find It At: Insound

All right, enough with the Guided by Voices reunion already. We've had our fun, partied hard, drank too much, and rocked out to those tunes one more time. Now it's back to the present. And with that, Boston SpaceshipsRobert Pollard, Chris Slusarenko, and John Moengive us their fifth album in three years of the band's existence. It's a double album, 26 tunes in 75 minutes. And it's a beast.

I'll spare you The Who comparisons that seem to follow Pollard around like a dog humping his leg. Suffice it to say that Let It Beard, in addition to being likely the best-titled album of Pollard's career, is also one of his strongest. One might assume, given some of his spottier recent releases that tend to throw together a dozen or so songs (only a handful of which are truly excellent) that a 26-song monster that Pollard has described as a "subconscious concept album" would be especially hit or miss. However, Let It Beard is one of the most consistently exceptional Pollard releases in recent memory. Songs run the gamut from melodically stellar tracks such as "Make a Record for Lo-Life" to spare, dark pieces like "Let More Light into the House." The album has punkier counterparts such as "You Just Can't Tell" and simply bizarre sound collages like "A Hair in Every Square Inch of the House." And that's only in the album's first half.

Guest musicians lend their talents as well. Wire's Colin Newman plays on "You Just Can't Tell." J Mascis' guitar turn on "Tourist U.F.O." is a spectacular addition. "A Dozen Blue Overcoats," a song that does not even reach the 90-second mark, features cello, and "Christmas Girl" has prominent horns. Now ask yourself: What more could you ask for? (www.bostonspaceships.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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Marc Sloop
November 13th 2011
6:01pm

A lot of Bob’s releases require a few listens for the hooks to sink in, and this one is no exception. I was initially underwhelmed by this one but after a few listens this one is full of catchy goodness. “Tabby and Lucy”, “You Never Can Tell”, and “Make a Record for Lo-Life” are the most immediate but it’s solid all the way through. Since 2008, Bob has been on an unrivaled creative streak with more great releases than most great recording artists have in their entire careers. A lot of them just require several listens to hear it.