After the release of the last Guided By Voices album, “August By Cake,”
which was Bobs one hundredth album, he released a table-top book “100,”
which includes the front and back album covers of those 100 albums.
If you bought the book,
you most likely have quite a few of the albums pictured.
I recently looked through the book,
as I went through it, I realized how many great albums Bob made.
Either as Guided By Voices, Robert Pollard or his many side projects.
I’ve been a music fan for (dare I say) 50 years,
through the British Invasion, 70’s rock, punk/new wave, alt, whatever.
In all of those years I’ve had many favorites,
but most (if not all) bands or performers usually released three to four great albums (if that)
in their entire careers and either break up or just continue bring out albums
that are nowhere as good, as their best.
I’m not gonna name names, but many of the most popular bands are on this list.
But Robert Pollard just keeps on making great albums.
I really enjoyed the six reunion albums with the classic line-up,
and when it was over, I was worried that perhaps it was the end.
It was cool seeing the classic band reunite,
but now what?
As we know now, it was a new beginning.
Since the split, Bob has hit a new peak in his career.
Just when I thought the best was behind us,
Bob out does himself.
Ten albums in 2 years, and they were all great!
The three Ricked Wicky albums, 2 great Circus Devils and 2 solo albums,
The ESP Ohio album, two Guided By Voices albums, one featuring only Bob
and the double album, August By Cake with the latest version of GBV.
Some of Bob’s best!
So here we are with “How Do You Spell Heaven,”
Bob’s one hundred and first album,
and Guided By Voices twenty-fifth.
So perhaps this is the one that disappoints?
Perhaps fours months is too soon to release a follow-up to a double album?
Maybe it’s an album of leftovers, songs by other band members or
perhaps a bunch of Suitcase re-recordings?
The answers to those questions are,
You would think so, but not at all,
No, No and no.
On “How Do You Spell Heaven” Bob writes all of the songs except
“Pearly Gates Smoke Machine” an instrumental
he co-wrote with lead guitarist Doug Gillard,
which is just over four minutes long,
nice change of pace.
“The Birthday Democrats”
Bob has a gift of making great album opening songs.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting another ESP Ohio album,
but “King 007” and “Boy W” returns to that more 70’s sound,
which I really enjoyed.
“Tenth Century” and “Steppenwolf Mausoleum” would have fit comfortably on the
under-rated “Please Be Honest.”
while “Nothing Gets You Real” would be a perfect for a Robert Pollard solo album.
“Just To Show You” is the first single from the album,
“Diver Dan” and “Boy W” would be great singles too.
Don’t just sit there listening to me, I could go on and on,
go on Rockathon and get yours!
I don’t work for Bob or Rockathon,
I’m just happy when my favorite performer brings out a great album,
and with Bob, it’s quite often!
I said before that Bob is at a peak in his career,
“How Do You Spell Heaven” is another peak and I’m sure there are more to come.
In Bob We Trust!