While releasing handfuls of basement-tape-quality CDs, highly hip indie power-popsters Guided by Voices have always had their hearts set on cascading Who- or XTC-like well-buffed songcraft. "Do the Collapse" finally concedes the point: Lo-fi might be endearing but it's not the best place for all those power chords. Frontman Robert Pollard's let's-pretend lyrics ("Now we engage in optical hopscotch" ) remain, but where he once taped his songs together with Band-Aids, or let them digress and stop short, he actually completes many musical thoughts here. Somehow it feels like a loss, and this CD isn't as sharp as 1997's "Mag Earwhig!" But if you like these downright catchy tunes, there's a great back catalog to mine.
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