Published Feb 03, 2015After reforming and disbanding Guided by Voices during a three-year whirlwind that saw the Dayton, Ohio band release six full-lengths and an EP, Robert Pollard returns to single life with I Sell the Circus. Adopting the name from a non-existent band he created in high school, Pollard's latest attempt to reach back to his early-GBV days finds him crafting one of his most raw and lo-fi sounding albums in recent history.
Although Pollard continued to release solo albums (two under his name and two as Circus Devils) during the last incarnation of Guided by Voices, many of the 15 songs that make up I Sell the Circus come off either exceedingly eccentric or frustratingly generic. Tracks like "Even Today and Tomorrow" and "Rotten Backboards" find the 57-year-old musician playing unsuccessfully with gentle guitar textures, while "Piss Face" and "Miles of Concentration" find him recycling old ideas. I Sell the Circus is an uneven collection from an artist clearly torn between the future and his past. (GBV)