When Dayton, Ohio’s best-known lo-fi indie rocker Robert Pollard broke up his creation Guided by Voices in Chicago on New Years Eve of 2004, it became such an unqualified occasion. While GBV was indeed a legendary band, the coverage and mystery surrounding the event seemed highly unlikely for a band that reached its peak with audiences in 1994. However, the aftermath had critics and the faithful alike scratching their heads and wondering, “What direction will Pollard take with his solo career?” The answer is very simply, “More of the same.”
The evidence is Pollard’s second solo album in one year, Normal Happiness. The contents are 16 short, rough-around-the-edges power-pop ditties that one would expect from Pollard’s work with his renowned group. It’s a 35-minute welcoming slice of comfort food, as long-time fans of the legend’s work don’t have to expect anything terribly radical from their patron saint. What will cause listeners to scratch their heads are the theories fans will cook-up concerning why Pollard broke-up his beloved band if he was just going to do more of the same anyways. If you listen closely, you can hear the answer in his enlightened vocals, liberated with the independence of having his name on the cover, as opposed to the restraining moniker he invented some 20 years ago.
For more info see: http://www.robertpollard.net/