Robert Pollard - Faulty Superheroes - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Robert Pollard - Faulty Superheroes

by Kevin Orton Rating:8 Release Date:2015-05-25

How does he do it? The insanely prolific Robert Pollard has delivered another nugget of ear candy. If your head was reeling from Wicked Rickey’s I Sell Circus, Faulty Superheroes comes fast on its heels and pulls no punches.

Bif! Zap! Pow! 'What a Man' kicks things off with the ironic declaration “He’s back!” What’s up next? Welcome to the 'Café of Elimination', where “you have to look right into your eyes for the crime”. One thing is for sure, Pollard has not lost the knack of cranking out stadium rock anthems fraught with enigmatic bon mots. As for the irresistible title track, “The haloes in their closet are coming out.“

Faulty Superheroes sounds more spontaneous and devil-may-care than Ricked Wickey or many of the recent GBV 'reunions' of late. Sure, there are bum notes and clams, but it’s the same warts and all approach that made Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes so compelling, although this is the furthest from lo-fi.

This album is a rollicking affair; things rarely slow down, but when they do, he has your attention. 'The Real Wilderness' is a true standout. Brooding and melodic. And if you have to ask, 'The Real Wilderness' “is right between the eyes”.

“Take me to Yolita”, Pollard demands. Surely, Pollard’s bottomless well of arcane creativity must come from some alien source. In case you’re wondering, he wastes no time confessing, “I am Yolita”. Another standout is the anthem 'Bizarro’s Last Quest': “Believing the doctor correct and whatever can we expect?”

After 'Quest', the disjointed 'Mozart’s Throne' and 'Perikeet Vista', seem more like afterthoughts. The sparse, acoustic 'Vista' ruminates on the nature of talking birds. You can train them to answer your phone but it's best to just let them sing. A suitably quirky note on which to end, but ultimately an unsatisfactory one.

Despite beginning with a bang and ending in a murmur, Faulty Superheroes is a solid effort, full of what longtime Pollard/GBV fans expect. Granted, no real surprises, but certainly nothing to complain about. And if it’s not his best ever, not to worry; at 57, Pollard shows no signs of slowing down. With allegedly over 1,700 songs registered with BMI, he’s still Paste Magazine’s "78th greatest living songwriter".

Personally, I don’t think you have to be so condescending as to rank them. But I will buy he's one of the greatest living songwriters.

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