Certain Songs #559: Guided by Voices – “Jane of the Waking Universe”

GBV mag earwhig Album: Mag Earwhig!
Year: 1997

Of course, as a transition album, Mag Earwhig! wasn’t all immaculately-recorded songs featuring razor-sharp guitar lines and multiple-part song structures.

So for every Who-like “Portable Men’s Society,” there was a short & simple “I Am Produced;” for every shiny “I Am a Tree,” there was a fuzz-pop “Jane of the Waking Universe.”

Starting of with the title chorus, and featuring one last (for awhile anyways) Robert Pollard / Tobin Sprout harmony line, “Jane of The Waking Universe” would have fit on any of their previous albums, right down to the melody-line aping wah-wah solo which wriggles in halfway through.

But even with the guitars melded together into a distorted roar that had to completely stop just so the bass go squeeze in a hook, “Jane of The Waking Universe” fit in way more with Mag Earwhig! than Bee Thousand.

In a weird way, “Jane of The Waking Universe” had its foot in both doors: it was rough, unpolished, but still completely huge-sounding. And, naturally, sported the most memorable melody line on the entire album.

“Jane of the Waking Universe”

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