Tuesday, March 13, 2018

RE-SCORE: Guided By Voices: Half Smiles of the Decomposed (2004)

TOTAL SCORE: 48, AVG: 3.43

Using my new scoring method (read about it in my first Re-Score article), I thought it only made sense to get Half Smiles of the Decomposed out of the way. In my original review nearly 10 years ago the context for my review was how this was the last GBV album ever. We have since then had the original lineup come back for six new albums between 2012 to 2014, a solo-effort Pollard GBV album, and a reuniting with Doug Gillard for three GBV-labeled albums (Space Gun is still unreleased as of this). That is 10 new Guided By Voices albums since the first reunion in 2012, eight years after Half Smiles of the Decomposed! ...

    Even if Half Smiles lost the title of last Guided By Voices album, it is still the last GBV album that sounds like it was polished in a studio, since the newer albums still encompass the mish-mash audio fidelity of pre-Do the Collapse GBV.

    In my previous post on this album, 11 of the album's 14 songs made the playlist. There are a lot of good songs on Half Smiles, and I easily wrestled with the placement of a few (Should Girls of Wild Strawberries be higher? Is A Second Spurt of Growth rated too high? Are Gonna Never Have to Die and Huffman Prairie Flying Field truly among the best of Pollard's output?). As always this ranking is how I would rank things today, and my opinion will change over time. So here is the new ranking:

    Among Bob's Best
    04 Gonna Never Have to Die
    14 Huffman Prairie Flying Field

    01 Everyone Thinks I'm a Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking)
    06 Closets of Henry

    Almost Gems
    12 A Second Spurt Of Growth

    They're Good
    02 Sleep Over Jack
    03 Girls of Wild Strawberries
    05 Window Of My World
    07 Tour Guide At The Winston Churchill Memorial
    08 Asia Minor
    11 Asphyxiated Circle

    They're OK
    09 Sons of Apollo

    Could Live Without
    10 Sing For Your Meat
    13 (S)mothering And Coaching

    Toss-Offs & Throwaways
    -- none

    Given the scoring above, the album would get 48 points total (and an average of 3.43). 

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