The members of Strobe Talbot include Mick Hobbs, Benb Gallaher, and Jad Fair (of Half Japanese). 20 Pop Songs continues Fair's experiments in post-punk weirdness, mixing lo-fi jangles with thundering drums, strange lyrics, and stream-of-consciousness chanting. There are actually 21 songs here, if you include the hidden track that begins one and a half minutes after track 20 -- keep listening! "Extreme Happiness" sounds like a more acoustic Martin Rev or an American Komeda with aspirations to cross Yo La Tengo with Cibo Matto. The result is sometimes indulgent and sometimes wonderful, quirky pop. Not for everyone, but an enjoyable detour for those with an open mind. Highlights include "Overjoyed" and "Day-Dreamy." Not as accessible as Fair's work with Teenage Fanclub (on 2001's Words of Wisdom and Hope), but still one of his easiest listens.
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AllMusic Review by JT Griffith