Class Clown Spots a UFO - Guided by Voices
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13

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  1. Jun 16, 2012
    I liked Let's Go Eat the Factory, but I love this album. It is quite possibly their most satisfying release since Under the Bushes Under the Stars, which I believe we can agree is a classic.I liked Let's Go Eat the Factory, but I love this album. It is quite possibly their most satisfying release since Under the Bushes Under the Stars, which I believe we can agree is a classic.
  2. Jul 12, 2012
    A welcome return to form for Pollard, who is writing his best songs in 10 years. There's not a lot of studio polish here, which of course was never the point; this is messy, glorious rock and roll that barely slows down before it heads for the skies again.
  3. Jun 15, 2012
    their best release since Alien Lanes. Heady music for heady people. It covers almost every square inch of powerpop. Powerful fuzzy and wah wah guitars smashing against Pollard's melodic wit. Mr. Sprout gloriously lost between R.E.M. and New Zealand. GBV in a blessed state!
  4. Feb 4, 2014
    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.
  5. Jul 24, 2012
    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". Expand
  6. Jun 17, 2012
    More top notch rock from Guided by Voices. Pollard has penned quite a few new classics for the GBV catalog (Jon the Croc, No Transmission, chain to the moon, and several others), but guitarist Tobin Sprout steals the show again (as he did on Let's Go Eat the Factory) with songs like "all of this will go","starfire" and "forever until it breaks".

    As much as I love the mark II GBV albums
    ("isolation drills" and "universal truths" come to mind), it always felt like something was missing. Class Clown Spots a UFO has it; that amateurish charm, the caution to the wind enthusiasm that made Alien Lanes, Bee Thousand, Propeller, and Under the Bushes, Under the Stars the classics that we, the GBV faithful, obsess over. Sure, not all of it works, but when it does (and that's more often then not here), the songs burrow into your subconscious and surface when you least expect it. Expand
  7. Jun 19, 2012
    Any new Guided by Voices album is cause for celebration. Class Clown Spots a UFO is a nice combination of folky meandering, raucous rock, and the usual Bob and the boys weirdness. Tobin Sprout is back in the band and has more influence on this one than on Lets Go Eat the Factory. That's a good thing, and these old cats just keep getting better. Saw them twice last year live, and it's amazing the power and exuberance and beer and sweat these guys consume and generate. They outpunk all the punks, outprog all the progs, and outdrink all the drunks. One more brilliant album from the best American rock band. Expand
  8. Jul 16, 2012
    Robert Pollard is terrifying. How can one man be such an elegant and seemingly effortless songwriter? He

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. For any fans of the group's 90s material, Class Clown is a highly recommended listen, especially for those put off by Factory.
  2. Jul 26, 2012
    A worthy and wonderful addition to [their] cannon. [Aug 2012, p.98]
  3. Jul 19, 2012
    The former [true gems] are plenty, the latter [filler are] few. [Aug 2012, p.91]