Normal Happiness - Robert Pollard
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic 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. Normal Happiness is more in the tradition of his best work with GBV -- sixteen short songs (only one over three minutes, seven under two), with plenty of hooks, lots of guitar and no more fuss than necessary.
  4. Much of Normal Happiness combines the effortless charm of classic power-pop with elements of prog as put through the filter of early Genesis or Ween; kind of like that last New Pornographers disc, but better. [Nov 2006, p.188]
  5. 80
    Pollard's most efficient and exploratory album in years. [#73, p.99]
  6. Normal Happiness... could be one of his most satisfying sets.
  7. Normal Happiness is a quick study in what he does best, and nearly every song containsing at least one good idea. [#15]
  8. 70
    One of his better releases this year. [Oct 2006, p.122]
  9. While there are certainly some forgettable moments here... the refreshing news is that "Normal Happiness" can stand proudly amid the Pollard oeuvre.
  10. Normal Happiness is a slightly-above-mediocre release from an artist who never dared to be mediocre; just inconsistent.
  11. 60
    As usual, Pollard sabotages his commercial potential with weak production values and occasionally straining vocals. [Dec 2006, p.121]
  12. Between the unfinished and the clumsy, Pollard produces diamonds such as the wracked Give Up The Grape and sweetly breezy Boxing About. [Jan 2007, p.150]
  13. Happiness sounds like a string of freaked-out AM hits.
  14. 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.
  15. It kind of sounds like classic AM radio interpreted by a very strange garage rock band.
  16. If Normal Happiness isn’t prime Pollard, neither does it fall into his voluminous discard pile.
  17. Either too sugary or too bitter and complacent, Normal Happiness is a strictly a family affair.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User 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. Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  3. EWayne
    Jan 13, 2007
    9
    Bob's produced another low-fi, power pop gem. Addictive listening.