#36 Guided By Voices “August By Cake” – 52 Weeks of 2017 Albums

In a year celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first Guided By Voices album, 1987’s Devil Between My Toes, band leader Robert Pollard marks the personal milestone of seeing the release of his 100th album, Guided By Voices’ first double album and latest record, 2017’s August By Cake. Astoundingly, with 25 Guided By Voices albums and 22 solo albums to his credit, over the past 30 years Pollard has found time for an additional 50 plus record releases through various side projects and collaborations. With more than 2,000 songs registered to his name, Pollard, celebrating his 60th birthday this year, remains singularly one of the most prolific songwriters of the era. With 8 songs per side August By Cake‘s 32 tracks continue to pad Pollard’s numbers embracing his apparent “more is more” philosophy towards songwriting and record making. Pollard exhibits an almost ADHD zeal towards beginning and ending songs and moving on to the next one as quickly as possible with all 32 tracks overlapping and running into one another like a crammed K-Tel compilation from the 1970’s. However, by the time the needle drops on the fourth side, after a strong start, August By Cake looses momentum and begins to wear thin as it limps towards the finish line. Still, with it’s wealth of poignant material and integral moments of musicality there’s more than enough brilliance cast over this decidedly lo-fi double album to make most shady singles weep with envy.

Rating: 8.9/10



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