Half Smiles of the Decomposed

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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
Half Smiles of the Decomposed 44:35 $11.98
Buy Individual Tracks
# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 Everyone Thinks I'm A Raincloud (when I'm Not Looking) 3:29 $1.49 Buy
2 Sleep Over Jack 3:14 $1.49 Buy
3 Girls Of Wild Strawberries 2:39 $1.49 Buy
4 Gonna Never Have To Die 2:27 $1.49 Buy
5 Window Of My World 3:07 $1.49 Buy
6 Closets Of Henry 2:40 $1.49 Buy
7 Tour Guide At The Winston Churchill Memorial 3:11 $1.49 Buy
8 Asia Minor 2:33 $1.49 Buy
9 Sons Of Apollo 4:14 $1.49 Buy
10 Sing For Your Meat 4:13 $1.49 Buy
11 Asphyxiated Circle 2:59 $1.49 Buy
12 A Second Spurt Of Growth 2:55 $1.49 Buy
13 (S)mothering And Coaching 3:31 $1.49 Buy
14 Huffman Prairie Flying Field 3:23 $1.49 Buy

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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.

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