Class Clown Spots a UFO - Guided by Voices
Class Clown Spots a UFO Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second release in 2012 for the Ohio indie rock band led by Robert Pollard is 21 tracks long.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Jun 12, 2012
    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. Jun 14, 2012
    One of the strongest LPs that Guided By Voices have ever released.
  3. Jul 19, 2012
    The former [true gems] are plenty, the latter [filler are] few. [Aug 2012, p.91]
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Jun 12, 2012
    Another 21 songs of baffling titles, ingenuous melodies and charming amateurism. [Jul 2012, p.73]
  7. Jun 13, 2012
    [Class Clown is] like all GBV releases, a mishmash of melodic, A-side-worthy compositions and half-formed snippets.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. 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
  2. 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! Collapse
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. Jul 16, 2012
    Robert Pollard is terrifying. How can one man be such an elegant and seemingly effortless songwriter? He
  6. 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
  7. 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.

See all 8 User Reviews