Album: Moonflower Plastic (Welcome to My Wigwam)
. . .
Having left Guided by Voices because apparently being on the road with Robert Pollard isn’t conducive to raising a child — though he would be back for a bit in the early 2010s — Tobin Sprout wasted no time in releasing his second solo album, 1997’s Moonflower Plastic (Welcome to My Wigwam).
And I didn’t like it nearly as much as the previous year’s Carnival Boy. Which could be on me, of course. Once again, it was basically Sprout overdubbing himself on every instrument except for the drums, and while there were some pretty good songs like “Beast of Souls” and “Hit Junky Dives,” for me, the standout was “All Used Up,” which you can tell was up my alley from the moment Sprout ignited the droning, arpeggiated guitars and opened his mouth to sing.
All used up
No room for the deity
Could ever be replaced
After that, it’s straight into the chorus, with a couple more guitars and a bit of a higher register. But all along, it’s jingle-jangle, jangle-jingle.
Been turning all night
I set my standards above the upper lower cos
I did my time, I dealt my deal
You know it’s all right
Once again, I have no idea what he’s on about, though “all used up and erased” is a pretty dark opening for a darkly pretty song that just alternates verses and choruses for two minutes, and when it’s up, just ends.
After the first two albums, Sprout started releasing them more sporadically, and while I might have heard 1999’s Let’s Hear It For The Circus People, I also might not have. Since the turn of the century, in between the demos and outtakes, live albums and soundtracks, he released four studio albums — the most recent in 2020 — none of which I’ve ever heard and all of which I might like.
“All Used Up”
“All Used Up” Live in Athens, 2017
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