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Guided By Voices
Half Smiles of the Decomposed
Matador Records

The skinny:

After almost 20 years, Guided by Voices' swan song is contradictorily uplifting and melancholic, classic and contemporary. The melodies are so good they ache. (Or maybe that's our colon acting up again.) Since it feels like our favorite alcoholic friend is dying, this is the perfect eulogy. Not unlike when Grandma called our late Uncle Jake a parasite.

Standout tracks:

"Everybody Thinks I'm a Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking)," "Girls of Wild Strawberries," "Asphyxiated Circle," "Huffman Prairie Flying Field"

If you liked this album, you’d like:

Wire, Yo La Tengo, the Shins, getting INDIE LIFE tattooed across your stomach

What does Bud Light think of this?

Please don't stop. You make up a third of our yearly sales. In this day and age, we can't let sobriety win!

Did we listen to this?

Twice, to make our half smile full.

Tantalizing tidbits:

Before you get too weepy about Guided by Voices' retirement, don't worry. Frontman Robert Pollard has vowed tocontinue releasing solo albums until his voice can no longer be guided.