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Robert Pollard’s Waved Out gets the 20th anniversary re-issue treatment with newly re-mastered audio and a beautiful blue vinyl pressing. The Guided By Voices captain’s second solo album from 1998 captures the more eclectic side of his songwriting. Here, he brilliantly compresses prog, psych, and post-punk ideas into magnificent two-minute pop songs. Wire, early Genesis, Nilsson Schmilsson, Lennon’s White Album songs, Blue Öyster Cult, XTC, and Captain Beefheart: it’s all here, condensed into brilliant songs like “Subspace Biographies” and “Whiskey Ships.” A lot’s been made of Pollard’s spontaneous and prolific songwriting methods, and most of that’s true, though he works much harder on his songs than even he likes to admit. With Waved Out, he seemed to grow more comfortable and ambitious in formal studio-type settings, so that anyone who carps about “unfinished arrangements” and “shitty production values” ought to be pretty happy with this record. This doesn’t apply to “Caught Waves Again,” where he sings into a boombox over a tape of GBV guitarist Doug Gillard’s noodling. Nor does it apply to a touching song about tragedies in Pollard’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio, called “People Are Leaving,” where he puts two separate melodies over instruments by collaborator Stephanie Sayers. In addition to Gillard, a few other GBV personalties appear on the record, Jim Pollard, Tobin Sprout and Jim MacPherson, then of The Breeders. But the bulk of the record, including a fair bit of the drumming, is all Robert Pollard. I'm a little surprised, frankly. maybe cma