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Guided by Voices

Half Smiles of the Decomposed (Matador)

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And so we come to last call at the House of GbV, and it's hard not to get a bit misty. Despite whatever indifference or disappointment greeted anything he'd made since Under the Bushes, over the years Bob Pollard had become a bit like The Dude -- we took comfort in knowing that he was out there, The Drunk, doing a high-kick for all us sinners. As such, it's tempting to let GbV's final record take a back seat to The Concept of "GbV's Final Record" -- which, in some ways, is okay. There's nothing that separates Decomposed too drastically from the last few GbV outings. Pollard dutifully sprinkles a few mind-blowing pop songs ("The Closets of Henry") amid a bunch of barely adequate ones. While this album is unlikely to gain the group any eleventh-hour fans, it provides just enough to remind the rest of us what we'll be missing three years from now.

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