Wednesday, October 07, 2020

RE:SCORE - Guided By Voices: Vampire on Titus (1993)

TOTAL SCORE: 48, AVG: 2.67

As I stated in my original review, intentional or not, Vampire on Titus (VoT) is marred by the recording quality on the heavier songs. Although as a cohesive whole this lends a certain thematic quality, and I enjoy listening to the album on its own, it does make it hard for me to rank specific songs higher.  VoT could be a good litmus test for a new listener - if you can hear the gold from the noise, then welcome to the GBV world...
    That being said, I could never recommend VoT for people new to Guided By Voices. It is an odd album; the bad apple among the holy run that is Propeller, Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, and Under the Bushes Under the Stars (and arguably continuing to Mag Earwhig! and beyond), yet it also somehow fits perfectly. Its inclusion of essentials Jar of Cardinals, Gleemer (The Deeds of Fertile Jim), and Wondering Boy Poet definitely helps, and the fuzzed-out heavier songs do start to emerge after a few listens. 

    When I revamped my scoring key, I almost considered an overall rating which could bridge the times when albums are truly greater than the sum of their parts. VoT is truly one of those albums (and so is Let's Go Eat the Factory and Let it Beard). However, I decided not to, so with that, here is the updated ranking:

    Among Bob's Best
    -- none

    10 Jar of Cardinals
    14 Gleemer (The Deeds of Fertile Jim)
    15 Wondering Boy Poet

    Almost Gems
    01 Wished I Was a Giant
    03 Expecting Brainchild

    They're Good
    02 #2 in the Model Home Series
    05 Donkey School
    06 Dusted [Note: Prefer the Fast Japanese Spin Cycle version]
    08 Sot
    10 Unstable Journey
    18 Non-Absorbing

    They're OK
    07 Marchers in Orange [Note: Prefer the Fast Japanese Spin Cycle version]
    09 World of Fun
    16 What About It?

    Could Live Without
    17 Perhaps Now the Vultures

    Toss-Offs & Throwaways
    04 Superior Sector Janitor X
    12 E-5
    13 Cool Off Kid Kilowatt

    Given the scoring above, the album would get 48 points total (and an average of 2.67). 

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