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Half Smiles of the Decomposed [Digipak]
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Album: Half Smiles of the Decomposed [Digipak]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Everybody Thinks I'm A Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking) More Info... 0:03
2)    Sleep Over Jack More Info... 0:03
3)    Girls of Wild Strawberries More Info... 0:02
4)    Gonna Never Have to Die More Info... 0:02
5)    Window of My World More Info... 0:03
6)    The Closets Of Henry More Info... 0:02
7)    Tour Guide At The Winston Churchill Memorial More Info... 0:03
8)    Asia Minor More Info... 0:02
9)    Sons Of Apollo More Info... 0:04
10)    Sing For Your Meat More Info... 0:04
11)    Asphyxiated Circle More Info... 0:03
12)    A Second Spurt Of Growth More Info... 0:02
13)    (S)Mothering And Coaching More Info... 0:03
14)    Huffman Prairie Flying Field More Info... 0:03
 

Album: Half Smiles of the Decomposed [Digipak]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Everybody Thinks I'm A Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking) More Info... 0:03
2)    Sleep Over Jack More Info... 0:03
3)    Girls of Wild Strawberries More Info... 0:02
4)    Gonna Never Have to Die More Info... 0:02
5)    Window of My World More Info... 0:03
6)    The Closets Of Henry More Info... 0:02
7)    Tour Guide At The Winston Churchill Memorial More Info... 0:03
8)    Asia Minor More Info... 0:02
9)    Sons Of Apollo More Info... 0:04
10)    Sing For Your Meat More Info... 0:04
11)    Asphyxiated Circle More Info... 0:03
12)    A Second Spurt Of Growth More Info... 0:02
13)    (S)Mothering And Coaching More Info... 0:03
14)    Huffman Prairie Flying Field More Info... 0:03
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Tobin Sprout (guitar); Todd Tobias (sound effects).
  • Audio Mixer: Todd Tobias.
  • Recording information: Waterloo Sound, Kent, OH (12/2003).
  • Photographer: Sarah Zade.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Tony Conley; Rob Phillips.
  • At the time of HALF SMILES OF THE DECOMPOSED's release in 2004, Guided By Voices ringleader Robert Pollard claimed that it would be the long-running indie band's last record. While the album's artwork (particularly the back cover's telltale sunset photo) reinforces the sense of finality, the music here plays to the strengths that GBV has developed since the group's 1994 breakthrough, BEE THOUSAND, offering up quirky lyrics and catchy riffs aplenty.
  • "Everybody Thinks I'm a Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking)" begins the send-off with surging guitars that allow Pollard to slide comfortably into rock-star mode, while "Sleep Over Jack" is an angular, New Wave-esque track that sports vocal samples echoing the muffled interjections on the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine." Although many other latter-day GBV outings focused almost exclusively on amped-up electric guitars, HALF SMILES features more prominent acoustic guitar playing, particularly on the dreamy jangle-pop of "Girls of Wild Strawberries" and the gloriously Who-like "Window of My World." By the time Bob Pollard repeatedly sings the refrain "for far too long" to close the song "Huffman Prairie Flying Field," the album itself, and, apparently, the rock entity known as Guided By Voices, it's clear he's not kidding around about this ending. It's one hell of a swan song.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.79) - 3 1/2 stars out of 5 - "[I]t's packed to bursting with sometimes inscrutable pleasures: melodies with the whiff of half-remembered classics..."

Uncut (p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[With] driving fuzz-pop, fat hooks, urgent choruses..."

Alternative Press (p.134) - 3 out of 5 - "[Pollard's] finally come stumbling home."

Magnet (p.105) - "The anthems here are recorded to sound like rooftop shots, while the ballads are among the finest Pollard has crafted..."

Magnet (p.66) - Ranked #6 in Magnet's "The 20 Best Albums Of 2004" - "Before lo-fi became a style, it was the logical byproduct of a torrent of songs recorded in bursts of beery energy."

CMJ (p.4) - "The band gives closure to its 19-year college rock sovereignty and doesn't let it signature bittersweet cynicism leak past the last track."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[I]ts great songs are prime Pollard..."
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