“Please Be Honest” is the first post break-up album of
the reunited classic line-up of Guided By Voices.
It is also the first GBV album performed in it’s entirety by Robert Pollard.
Some would say, why wasn’t this album released as a solo album
or perhaps “Teenage Guitar”, which is what Bob has released albums
with himself performing all of the instruments.
Bob claims that after he finished the album,
that it sounded like a Guided By Voices album,
which it does.
Bob has even said to the detractors, that on most of the past GBV albums,
there were plenty of songs where he performed everything.
Listening to “Propeller” up to “Mag Earwhig!” and the singles and eps
during that period, there are many songs that could be only Bob.
So in other words, Robert Pollard is Guided By Voices,
which this album proves.
“I Think A Telescope”, “Defeatists' Lament” and “Sad Baby Eyes” from this album,
are a good examples of the type of songs on past albums,
that were probably completely recorded by Bob.
Bob also delivers quite a few song that are soon to be classics,
“My Zodiac Companion”, “The Quickers Arrive”, “Glittering Parliaments”, “Kid On A Ladder”,
“Come On Mr. Christian”and “Please Be Honest.”
Many have become live favorites during the recent tour.
“Eye Shop Heaven”, “The Caterpillar Workforce” and especially “Hotel X (Big Soap)”,
are Freakin’ Great.
There are weirder moments with “The Grasshopper Eaters” and “Nightmare Jamboree”
that sound like they come from one of the old eps.
One of my favorite things about this album is that it has that old GBV sound,
kind of noisy, weird clunky sound, like the old eps.
The fans that jumped aboard during “Do the Collapse” era,
may be put off by this album.
But the old fans who love the older albums and eps,
will love it.
Either way, like most great GBV releases, with repeated listens,
it grows on you like a Fungus.