March 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Guided By Voices – Motivational Jumpsuit

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Guided By Voices
Motivational Jumpsuit
GBV Inc.
Street: 02.18
Guided By Voices = Robert Pollard + Wire – Pere Ubu
Motivational Jumpsuit is the fifth album by the reunited classic lineup of Guided By Voices (and original drummer Kevin Fennell’s swan song, since he departed after an attempt to sell his drums on eBay for $55,000 went south later in 2013). In as many years after their reunion in 2010, Motivational Jumpsuit takes on the theme of self-deprecation, right off the bat in the perfect pop miniature “Littlest League Possible.” Sonically, this set is mostly razor-sharp pop punk that has one or two curveballs up its sleeve. Never suffering from “Writer’s Bloc,” as prolific as he is, singer/main songwriter Robert Pollard occasionally seems to be stealing his own signs, as on “Vote For Me Dummy,” which recycles a poppy melodicism he’s used a lot recently. “The biggest fish in the smallest pond?” he asks in “Littlest League,” seeming to question his indie-rock legend status. Pollard seems bent on creating works that are more and more self-assured and, in some small way, monumental, even when he doesn’t always knock one out of the park. –Stakerized!
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