Let me lay out my Bob Paradox. Anyone who doesn’t like Pollard won’t be reading this review, unless it accidentally got bumped into some weird Asian porno site (in which case, shame on you). Therefore, for anyone reading this, there are no good Bob songs, nor bad Bob songs, just Bob songs. And therefore it’s kind of difficult to compare Bob with anyone but Bob himself. Bob is both the creator of music and the giver of music (take that, shamans and ITunes). Many reviewers, oh what naive fools, have attempted to explain Bob’s music – I even made that mistake once. But you can’t, because for a Bob fan, the sound of Pollard going to the bathroom (let’s call it The Further Relaxation of the Asshole) is fit for inclusion around the tail-end of a Circus Devils record.
So please, pay no attention to what I’m about to say – I certainly won’t. I’ll pan a song – Mr. Fantastic Must Die is a terrible opener, the worst since Cave Zone, for example – and then I’ll find myself nodding along, a beatific grin on my face as I soak up the sheer Pollardness of the little bugger. I may moan at the sagginess that begins to seep in – Stay Away, Gone Hoping and Into It, I’m looking at you – but I’ll still croon along mournfully, waiting for the masterpiece that is Woman To Fly to come along.
With every Pollard album, you’re guaranteed at least a handful of truly spectacular moments, the ones you always hope reviewers will pick up on but never do. Blowing Like A Sunspot, for instance, would have been lauded to high heaven if it had been on Alien Lanes, and Sex She Said contains some of the funniest lyrics of Pollard’s career, the insistence of the chorus interspersed with his plaintive, yielding reply (“I said all right”) . “Don’t fuck up my respiration / Don’t frisk me when I’m down” pleads Bob, the choppiness of the track adding to its vaguely sado-masochistic feel. Sure, it’s weird, but it’s when Bob stops being weird that the problems emerge, with Something Strawberry and One More Touch lacking the vocal texture and faux-angst of say, Follow A Loser.
Anyway, middle-aged man reading this article (oh no, I stereotyped all Pollard fans!), you don’t need me to tell you to buy this album. You’ll get it yourself, because your Pollard itch needs scratching, no matter what the songs in said album are like. So there.