Robert Pollard, ‘Coast to Coast Carpet of Love/Standard Gargoyle Decisions’ (Merge)
With more than a dozen solo albums — not to mention the entire Guided by Voices oeuvre and assorted side projects (Circus Devils, Acid Ranch, Keene Brothers, et al.) — Robert Pollard has had serious quality-control issues. But the 33 tracks on this pair of discs are uniformly excellent. Best bets: the lacerating “The Killers,” which connects the dots between Thin Lizzy and XTC, and the hypnotic folk rock of “Miles Under the Skin.” Propelled by a goose-bump-inducing chorus, the latter is a good argument for Pollard to open Springsteen’s next tour.