Search - Robert Pollard :: Waved Out

Waved Out
Robert Pollard
Waved Out
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

Guided by Voices made a name for themselves in the '80s and early '90s with albums of engagingly quirky, independent art-rock, fueled largely by the imagination and peculiar melodic ear of Robert Pollard (along with fellow...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Robert Pollard
Title: Waved Out
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Matador Records
Original Release Date: 6/23/1998
Release Date: 6/23/1998
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 744861031628, 744861031611

Guided by Voices made a name for themselves in the '80s and early '90s with albums of engagingly quirky, independent art-rock, fueled largely by the imagination and peculiar melodic ear of Robert Pollard (along with fellow GBV songwriter Tobin Sprout). The material on Pollard's second solo release continues the distinctly offbeat trend. Despite his falling out with Sprout and the personnel housecleaning within GBV that followed, the former schoolteacher continues to make embracing indie pop--idiosyncratic and occasionally bizarre, yet harmonious and heartfelt. Pollard has always embraced lo-fi, garage-sound recording techniques, and Waved Out makes few concessions to that aesthetic, churning out a simple sonic overlay and letting the baroque lyrical structure poetically fill out the unencumbered approach. --Matthew Cooke

CD Reviews

Baking Helens Kingdom
Shannon Miller | GBV Country, OH | 01/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Somewhere in the world is a band looking for that perfect hook. I have news for them. Robert Pollard already knows it, played it, and thought of ten more while you were reading this. This man continues to write melodies that are so stunning, it's almost embarrassing. Wow. Buy this album if you want to hear one of the best solo albums of all time."
I've been waved out
Thomas B. Mitchell | 11/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a Bob Pollard record, not a Nick Lowe or Fountains of Wayne album. I think people seeking great craftsmanship and uniform song quality (whatever that means) are missing the point entirely. This record is a juggernaut of self-expression, albeit filtered through Pollard's left-field perspective (for better and for worse). Yes, "Waved Out" is spotty at times ("Walrus"), and much of it seems off-the-cuff ("Vibrations in the Woods"), but a little listener investment yields many rewards:

Buried (or, in many cases, barely concealed) in the opaque wordplay is a sense of loss and self-doubt that is unique among any Pollard/GBV album (except for maybe "Isolation Drills"). The album title is significant: I read a review that compellingly pointed out that the record loosely follows a "wave" concept. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but when you (even casually) take note of the SEQUENCE of the tunes along with those tunes' tempo, tone, and subject matter, you can literally feel the emotional wave--elation/anxiety building to a crest then crashing. Example:
1. Make Use
2. Vibrations in the Woods
3. Just Say the Word.

I think these three songs create a "wave," so to speak. And if this is too hippie for you, pardon me. "Make Use" is the manic intro (wave building); "Vibrations" is the crest (that's why it's such a short song--a "throwaway," right?); and "Just Say the Word" is (and FEELS) like the crashed wave lapping the shore.

This pattern repeats throughout the album; the cycle typically ends with a brief (and often morose) tune. So, just for the record, the short songs are, in my opinion, there for a reason.

When you know a little bit about Pollard and his songwriting/recording methods, albums like "Waved Out" are all the more remarkable for their scope and quality. Take a look at the release schedule for GBV/Pollard in 1998--it's yet another multi-album year. Pollard is an artist best appreciated (in my opinion) when given an opportunity to present an uninterrupted flow of musical ideas--even when the results are technically flawed.

I enjoy a well-crafted record, but I think Pollard is at his best (and easiest to enjoy) in this more intimate, less polished format."
"Asking very good questions..."
G. Preston | Baltimore, MD United States | 05/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

""... justifying our existence, in the belly of the whale." Just one of many great lines contained here. There's a real sense of fun and experimentation throughout this album, but some people seem to mistake this for superficiality. That's a real shame, because this is by no means a "weak" Robert Pollard album. Just like his 1st solo album "Not In My Airforce", the quality dips towards the end, but this is more an indication of how he likes to construct an album- than it is a lack of ideas. It is a very colorful album; I think the thing that stands out the most is how each song successfully makes use of a certain effect; be it on the vocals, drums, or guitar; it just fits each song so well. Make Use is a very strong opener- great guitar riff, great drum pattern, an unexpected burst of keyboard; a classic. Vibrations In the Woods- one of my favorites, it has a nice homemade sound to it, with a cool drum effect, and the catchy/cryptic refrain of "We are headed North." Subspace Biographies is a fan favorite- an extremely simple but propulsive rocker. The next real highlight is the awesome combo of "Whiskey Ships" & "Wrinkled Ghost"- observe how Pollard builds substantial pop confection out of two meager little riffs. Just as you start to think "Wrinked Ghost" is the melancholy pop highlight of the album- the amazing "People Are Leaving" comes along and blows away everything that came before. Pollards' diversity is clearly one of his strong points, and here, out of nowhere, he produces this almost unbearably pretty piano based tune with a cool doubled vocal effect- each vocal singing a different lyric. This is one of the prettiest songs he has ever written, and a great ode to friends who have passed away. Rumbling Joker is another really nice song- stark and plodding, it sounds like it should have been the closing song on the album. But no, things continue with "Showbiz opera Walrus" probably the only real clunker here. Obviously, Bob is just having fun, and it's clear evidence of his infamous lack of quality control. Same for the next 2 songs, which have typically great lyrics, but kind of drift away into nothingness. But most GBV fans are already accumstomed to this kind of thing. By the 3/4 of the album, you're already reaching for the repeat button, to savor the brilliance of what came before. Seriously, aren't you? :)"