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Guardian - UK
By Betty Clarke

Guided By Voices
Universal Truths and Cycles
Matador Records

Guided by Voices, American college radio's hardest-working underachievers, sound like everyone and no one. After becoming disenchanted with life on a major label, they sought refuge in their lo-fi roots. Merseybeat jingle-jangle swims in sensitive indie atmospherics then pauses for an onslaught of Boston guitar riffs. Lyrics veer from the embarrassingly poetic to the subtle and succinct, as images of childhood are filtered through a questioning spirituality. Singer Robert Pollard glides from the trilling of Michael Stipe to the guttural twang of John Power. "Your angel baby monkey girl, the gift of smiles and love production," he soothes on Storm Vibrations. This is a worthy strike for artistic freedom and slightly demented pop.