Class Clown Spots a UFO - Guided by Voices
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Jun 12, 2012
    83
    As with Factory, the strength of UFO is that it sounds like a true GBV record, rather than simply a clandestine avenue for Pollard's solo material.
  2. Jul 26, 2012
    80
    A worthy and wonderful addition to [their] cannon. [Aug 2012, p.98]
  3. Jul 19, 2012
    80
    The former [true gems] are plenty, the latter [filler are] few. [Aug 2012, p.91]
  4. Jun 29, 2012
    80
    Perfect imperfection.
  5. Jun 14, 2012
    80
    One of the strongest LPs that Guided By Voices have ever released.
  6. Jun 13, 2012
    80
    The title track ... and the unstoppably melodic "Billy Wire" are two of the catchiest tunes Pollard has ever penned. [No.88 p.56]
  7. For any fans of the group's 90s material, Class Clown is a highly recommended listen, especially for those put off by Factory.
  8. Jun 25, 2012
    75
    Class Clown gives us what is most best and most constant about the band--their sonic restlessness, shambolic hooks, broken glory--and nothing less.
  9. Jun 27, 2012
    70
    Class Clown's odd-angled pop and jittery arena rock keeps the weirdness on par with its predecessor.
  10. 70
    Whilst there are a few archetypal GBV misfires inside Class Clown Spots A UFO – brought about by scattershot recording fidelity and a small imbalance in the quantity over quality ratio – overall it is still a solidly-carved collection.
  11. Jun 13, 2012
    70
    This LP has a distinct retro feel to it, with elements of blues, psychedelia and an earthiness that results in the band's best album of the year so far.
  12. Jun 12, 2012
    70
    Another 21 songs of baffling titles, ingenuous melodies and charming amateurism. [Jul 2012, p.73]
  13. Jun 12, 2012
    70
    The album's spottiness becomes just another part of the Guided by Voices experience, and in a strange way it eventually works as a positive attribute.
  14. 70
    While Class Clown doesn't come close to the highs of Alien Lanes or the vastly underrated Universal Truths and Cycles, it still riffs and rolls enough.
  15. Jun 14, 2012
    65
    Class Clown Spots a UFO is a fine record, but now two records into their return, it feels like this "classic" version of Guided By Voices is following too closely to a script.
  16. Jun 20, 2012
    60
    In among these sporadic highlights, however, are numerous slices of tossed-off nonsense.
  17. Jun 13, 2012
    60
    Most of this record isn't the kind of total genius that can be found elsewhere in their canon but it's a fine album that shows what can be done if bands just relaxed a bit.
  18. Jun 12, 2012
    60
    It's better than your average album, but by the standard of Let's Go Eat the Factory, it leaves a bit to be desired.
  19. Jun 13, 2012
    56
    [Class Clown is] like all GBV releases, a mishmash of melodic, A-side-worthy compositions and half-formed snippets.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Feb 4, 2014
    7
    So much potential left unfulfilled in the songs
    While this Guided by Voices record has plenty of great ideas and hooks, too often the ideas
    are left under developed. The record is nothing if not catchy and the band come together nicely to create a series of melody infused pieces that introduce themselves and then leave before you can get fully acquainted with them.
    For a record full of potential, it does leaves you with a sense that the band are spreading themselves too thin, unwilling to let any idea behind but a consequence of this being that most ideas are never given the full attention they deserved. The title track "Class Clown Spots a UFO" is one of three tracks out of 21 to go over the 3 minute mark. This track is a prime example of how good this record could have been with a little bit of focus - a real catchy number and a pop gem. Billy Wire, another one of the albums longer tracks at just over 2 minutes, is a further example.
    If we had an track album of expanded tracks such as these aforementioned ones, then it would have been an excellent album. As it is, more than half of the record are brief interludes between songs, and these interludes show more potential than the more developed tracks actually deliver.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 24, 2012
    7
    Admittedly the latest Guided By Voices' album may initially scare by a surprising number of songs contained on it - because very scarcely someone put up 21 different - and more importantly - memorable songs on one disc. "Class Clown Spots A UFO" is however a very interesting compilation of short, little more than minute compositions in various musical genres, and what's more importantly - you can not say that the band did not achieved their established goals. Haunting are even songs like the classic-rock "Blue Babbleships Bay" or hard rock, kept in lo-fi "Tyson's High School". Full Review »
  3. Jul 16, 2012
    8
    Robert Pollard is terrifying. How can one man be such an elegant and seemingly effortless songwriter? He