As the first single the Folk Implosion released since the unexpected success of "Natural One," expectations were high for "Pole Position." It shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Lou Barlow or John Davis that the single didn't deliver commercially, even if it had elements of "Natural One" in its trip-hop beat and shamelessly catchy chorus. The difference was, where "Natural One" felt like alternative radio, "Pole Position" feels like a post-punk classic -- a song singularly out of time, so there was little chance of it scaling the charts on its own. Despite its lack of commercial success, it was a wonderful single, one of the best of 1997. As a single/EP, it's supported by the acoustic "Opening Day" and "Summer's Over," two fine indie rock songs that are nevertheless overshadowed by their near-classic companion.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine