355. Guided By Voices – “Under the Bushes Under the Stars”

Regular readers of this blog (and also the more irregular/infrequent of you) may have already picked up that I really don’t know that much about music-making.

I only write as an avid and attentive listener. As such, any advice or opinion I give regarding what a band should be doing better should clearly be seen as speculative and ill-informed at best.

I say all this because yesterday I was pretty convinced that GBV were hampered by the low and borderline obstructive production quality on the album in question.

Well, on this one they got all disciplined and almost slick. The production values hit passable levels, and thus we are left to scrutinise the band in a less distracted way.

Unfortunately, they seem to have traded off some spontaneity and creativity along the way. Among the 24 tracks (yeah, they’re still prolific) there aren’t as many pearls (unpolished or otherwise). The borderline Beatlesque qualities of the previous release are lost as the band comes across as some very, very reserved REM-Buffalo Tom-Flying Nun hybrid, but without a big, ear-catching track to keep me coming back.

File under: Sounds like bad bush to me…

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