Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Robert Pollard - Jack Sells the Cow LP (GBV Inc.)

This is a Robert Pollard solo album—12 songs, 32 minutes—hovering around the 80th percentile on a sliding scale of his own design, methinks. With this number, I aim to fold the extent of my critique, as it is all I see fit to impart on a Robert Pollard solo album in 2012, the fourth record he has been a part of this year and the googleth of his career. His net has been cast, with a fanbase like a block of granite and a persistence equally resolute. If ceaselessness panders to futility, here it is the writer’s burden to bear. The same agent that puts a damper on criticism’s utility is an accelerant to the torch of a relic. 

Throughout his oeuvre, Pollard has established a brand of rock infused with weirdness to tone down its biologically high levels of pop. Not only has it endured and inspired, but this brand has resurfaced with a fist at the butt-end of indie rock, the genre, as the perfect example of all it ever aspired to be: self-sustaining and true. Don’t be put off by my ad-exec verbiage; Pollard branded before it brought the big bucks. His lyrics cull the strange from the familiar, transpose, and offer it as a placard to something else entirely. He is a petty thief, stealing the uncanny from the rich and giving it back to the poor. Sensing this ain’t too funny right now, Jack Sells a Cow does not suffer from any viral silliness of albums past. There is even a leveled maturity of tongue and tone. Although as a rule “seriousness is a form of infectious stupidity,” I would rather see a jester dressed for court than a king in a clown suit.
Elizabeth Murphy

-from Agit Reader