Normal Happiness - Robert Pollard
Normal Happiness Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: Many of the songs on the former Guided By Voices leader's second solo set of the year originated in tracks recorded for the soundtrack to the Steven Soderbergh film "Bubble."
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Normal Happens is a collection of short, breezy power-pop songs with a lo-fi edge. It's easy to listen to, easy to like.
  2. 80
    [It] delivers a pop-art contrast to the prog-opaque sprawl of its underrated predecessor. [Nov 2006, p.106]
  3. 80
    Pollard's most efficient and exploratory album in years. [#73, p.99]
  4. Normal Happiness is a quick study in what he does best, and nearly every song containsing at least one good idea. [#15]
  5. While it eschews the unlistenable doodles that litter most of his albums (and comprise all of some) in favour of upbeat 60s-styled guitar pop, Pollard never quite pulls out the killer hook or the great chorus that he could manage at will in his early/mid-90s golden period.
  6. If Normal Happiness isn’t prime Pollard, neither does it fall into his voluminous discard pile.
  7. Either too sugary or too bitter and complacent, Normal Happiness is a strictly a family affair.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. ttheve
    Jul 2, 2007
    9
    another excellent release- a new pollard release usually means4 or 5 new instant classics. here he comes through again. boxing about ia the another excellent release- a new pollard release usually means4 or 5 new instant classics. here he comes through again. boxing about ia the most beautiful song he 's ever writte. Faceful and Full Sun and Towers/Landslides are the others that got stuck in my head for months and I could'nt stop enjoying them. Love it. Expand
  2. EstherW
    Nov 19, 2006
    9
    A bountifull box of tasty two-minute musical bon-bons, and I can't stop with just one. This is maybe the best new record I've heard A bountifull box of tasty two-minute musical bon-bons, and I can't stop with just one. This is maybe the best new record I've heard all year so far. Expand
  3. BenjaminoV
    Oct 15, 2006
    9
    Another Pollard classic. More instantaneous and accessible than the excellent FaCE that came out in Jan. This one finds Pollard knocking out Another Pollard classic. More instantaneous and accessible than the excellent FaCE that came out in Jan. This one finds Pollard knocking out subversive little pop ditties with hooks a-plenty. Expand
  4. EWayne
    Jan 13, 2007
    9
    Bob's produced another low-fi, power pop gem. Addictive listening.
  5. AndertonA
    Oct 11, 2006
    8
    in your aaaaarrrrmmmsss in your aaaaaaarrrrmmmsssss
  6. mikes.
    Oct 14, 2006
    5
    More of the same from Robert Pollard, at first the album seems inviting and intriguing. However, as you continue to listen one realizes all More of the same from Robert Pollard, at first the album seems inviting and intriguing. However, as you continue to listen one realizes all the songs sound the same. Come to think of it this album sounds like every other album he has released. Points off for not doing anything innovative. feels like Pollard is recycling on tunes and going through the motions rather than attempting to release something half inspired. Expand
  7. AaronL
    Jan 14, 2007
    4
    A few excellent moments surrounded by heaps of filler. The higher accessibility of Normal Happiness' songs - quick riffs, power chords, A few excellent moments surrounded by heaps of filler. The higher accessibility of Normal Happiness' songs - quick riffs, power chords, even a power ballad - translates to losing the Wire-meets-The Fall feel that made From A Compound Eye one of the best GbV-related releases ever. Ignore this one and get From a Compound Eye instead. Expand