Under The Bushes Under The Stars (album) by Guided By Voices
Overall rank: 5,365th
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Guided By Voices bestography
The best album by Guided By Voices is Bee Thousand which is ranked number 398 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 6,812.
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|Rating||Date logged||Member||Num. album ratings||Avg. album rating|
|03/26/2019 22:03||vblackshadow||714 ratings||61/100|
|11/18/2018 12:46||jonny5244||870 ratings||64/100|
|11/15/2018 06:30||badseed||1,674 ratings||74/100|
|08/21/2018 21:58||Imaybeparanoid||6,868 ratings||71/100|
|08/14/2018 07:30||LevLandau||1,227 ratings||72/100|
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Under The Bushes Under The Stars comments
I bought this on cassette when it came out and was hooked. I listened to it several times in a row without stopping and haven't stopped listening to it for 20 years. In the span of albums from "Box" through "Under the Stars," Robert Pollard draws inspiration from the entire history of rock after about 1965, possibly paying tribute or even satirizing the sensibility of Bowie in the early 70s, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and Stones, Genesis and obscure prog, plus 70s art-pop like Wire and the Clean. Earlier GBV albums like "Bee Thousand," "Alien Lanes" and "Same Place the Fly Got Smashed" seem to have more satirical or humorous moments (e.g. "Blatant Doom Trip," "Hot Freaks" and "Chicken Blows") while "Under the Bushes" is more of a serious musical effort full of beauty, nostalgia and emotional power. There are still some funny references to psychedelia and Ziggy Stardust-era mod sensibilities, sometimes by Tobin Sprout ("It's Like Soul Man"). ... Pollard's practice of sequencing many short tracks, each one built on a strong musical concept, might have been inspired by the series of tracks that ends The Beatles' "Abbey Road" or the entirety of the White Album. And "Under the Bushes" draws particular inspiration from Genesis' "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." You can here it in moody, watery passages and lyrical content, lots of references to marine life as a metaphor for sexual discovery and the mystery of biological urges. (A psychedelic take on human reproduction is one of Pollard's main themes throughout his career, along with transportation, middle class American life and alcoholism.) So on the Genesis album, we have aquatic sexual symbols like "lamia" that are part of a story of adolescent sexual discovery, while on "Under the Bushes" we have "Underwater Explosions" and the surreal life forms of "Look at Them." ("Look at them, they're sensitive, and they inch out.") "Burning Flag Birthday Suit" is most evocative of early Genesis prog tracks with its changing, contemplative musical narrative and completely surreal lyrics that might be symbolic of nothing and refer only to psychedelic and prog-rock surrealism in general. In other words, it might only be a formal reference without any symbolic content. Of course the greatest strength of this album is in the melodies and song structures, inspired by years of listening to the Beatles, prog rock and psychedelic folk. I also think Pollard's expressive, Peter Gabriel style of singing is one of the reasons I keep coming back to the album. Some of the most memorable moments are in the pleading choruses of "Acorns and Orioles," "No Sky" and "Look at Them," the melancholia of "Bright Paper Werewolves" and the spinning chandeliers of "Big Boring Wedding."
This is one of overall top 100 albums you can check out with additionele comments.
Robert Pollard, the singer and composer of Guided by Voices is a strange one. I think his production of new songs albums not only with GBV but also by the Boston Spaceships and a multitude of other bands must be one of the most prolific in the world.
This also means that on his many albums there is a lot of trash which for one reason or another you simply have to tolerate to discover the many pop gems amongst it. This might be a reason to prefer a best of in order to group those gems but this simply doesn't give enough credit to how this man works so I have chosen one of his overall best albums (which also contains some gems).
Just as an aside: "Perfect from now on: "How Indie Rock Saved my Life" by John Sellers describes a bit the indie scene and how the author discovered it and has a big chapter about GBV.