Tobin Sprout
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Carnival Boy , 6/10
Moonflower Plastic , 6/10
Let's Welcome The Circus People , 5/10
Wrinkled Thoughts , 5/10
Airport 5: Tower In The Fountain Of Sparks , 6/10
Airport 5: Life Starts Here , 4/10
Sentimental Stations , 4/10
Lost Planets And Phantom Voices , 5/10

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Rotto il sodalizio con Robert Pollard nei Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout ha registrato l'album Carnival Boy (Matador, 1996): E's Navy Blue e Gas Daddy Gas sono classici degni dell'opera maggiore dei GBV. Dopo l'album e` uscito il singolo Popstram (Recordhead, 1997), con Toaster, Bottle of the Ghost of Time e soprattutto Sadder Than You.

Il suo secondo album, Moonflower Plastic (Matador, 1997), delude perche' sembra mirare soltanto all'appeal di massa: Sprout fa centro con Exit Planes, Beasts Of Souls e All Used Up, a meta` strada fra folk-rock, country-rock e Merseybeat, e le melodie pop Water On The Boater's Back e Angels Hang Their Socks On The Moon sono arrangiate in maniera preziosa, degne di Brian Wilson e Alex Chilton, ma in generale il disco e` privo di inventiva.

Sprout ha registrato anche il singolo Dig The Catacombs (Simple Solution, 1997) a nome Bevil Web. Sprout, trasferitosi in Michigan, ha anche avviato la carriera di pittore.

Il terzo album, Let's Welcome The Circus People (Wigwam, 1999), annovera una ballata alla REM, And So On, e qualche canzone arrangiata come si usava nel techno-rock degli anni '70 (Who's Adolescence), un vizio che inficia anche Cereal Killer sull'EP Wax Nails (Wigwam).

Wrinkled Thoughts (Wigwam, 2000) is a reunion of sort: in the early 1980s, Sprout played with Dan Toohey and John Peterson in a band called Fig 4. The trio is reconstituted and augmented with a fourth member. It is no surprise that the sound is almost hard-rock compared with Sprout's previous solos.

Tower In The Fountain Of Sparks (Fading Captain, 2001), credited to Airport 5, is the first collaboration between Sprout and Robert Pollard in four years. Airport 5's follow up, Life Starts Here (Rockathon, 2002) is quite mediocre.

Tobin Sprout's Sentimental Stations (Recordhead, 2002) is another disappointing collection, with few melodic gems (Secret Service) and one intriguing instrumental (Branding Dennis).

Lost Planets And Phantom Voices (Luna, 2003) is mildly more relevant. It continues Sprout's quest for the perfect pop song with the brief Indian Ink and Doctor #8, and boasts another surreal instrumental, Martini. More importantly, it shows some depth beneath the hooks (All Those Things We've Done), despite the usual dose of forgettable numbers.

Live At The Horseshoe Tavern April 19, 2004 (Wigwam, 2005) is a double-CD live retrospective.

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