FROM A COMPOUND EYE
BY SEAN PALMERSTON
A year after putting his Guided By Voices project to rest, underground
hero Robert Pollard returns with perhaps his best solo album yet. Heavily
traded through GBV Internet friendly groups for much of 2005, From A Compound
Eye sees its official release through Merge Records this month. While
it may be surprising to some that Pollard would make the move to Merge,
his relationship with the label and their flagship band Superchunk reaches
back before Spoon, the Arcade Fire and others made the NC label the coolest
indie imprint in the world. In fact, Pollard and Superchunks Mac
recorded an album earlier this decade under the moniker Go Back Snowball.
From A Compound Eye is one of Pollards best releases in some time.
Recorded entirely with his Circus Devils collaborator Todd Tobias (who
also contributes drums, bass and guitars to the album), it offers up 26
new album tracks that range from lofi balladry to midfi style
rockers. All of these contain that natural Pollard flair for strong song
structure, energetic vocals and enough interesting musically detours that
he never lets his laurels do the talking. Surely to be considered a classic
as time goes by, this is exactly the album I wished Robert Pollard would
return with. Im glad he did.