|Robyn Hitchcock — Robyn Hitchcock|
Robyn Hitchcock — Robyn Hitchcock (April 21, 2017) ♣ 21st album (6x with Egyptians, 3x with Venus 3). Editorial Reviews: Robyn Hitchcock is the follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed “The Man Upstairs”. The new record was recorded in Nashville, Robyn’s new home base in the US, and was produced by Robyn and Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs). This is the first time Robyn has made a full band album in the studio since 2008 and the record features a lot of key players, including Gillian Welch, Emma Swift, Pat Sansone (Wilco, The Autumn Defense), and Grant~Lee Phillips. The psych~rock influence is a callback to his days with The Soft Boys and his early solo albums.
Location: London, UK ~ Nashville, TN
Album release: April 21, 2017
Record Label: Yep Roc Records
01 I Want to Tell You About What I Want 3:42
02 Virginia Woolf 2:53
03 I Pray When I’m Drunk 2:06
04 Mad Shelley’s Letterbox 3:38
05 Sayonara Judge 5:55
06 Detective Mindhorn 3:28
07 1970 In Aspic 3:14
08 Raymond and the Wires 2:21
09 Autumn Sunglasses 5:06
10 Time Coast 3:42
♣ Eponymous albums usually herald a debut or a stylistic sea change. Robyn Hitchcock’s 22nd studio LP is neither, but it embraces elements of both. Recorded in Nashville with pop sorcerer Brendan Benson, it’s a distillation of the 64~year~old surrealist’s entire career, and easily his most vibrant collection of new music since the early 1990s — his last outing, 2014’s Man Upstairs, saw Hitchcock delivering an enjoyable, yet relatively amorphous set of half~covers/half~originals under the tutelage of the great Joe Boyd.
♣ The obvious reference points here are Underwater Moonlight~era Soft Boys and early solo outings like Element of Light and Black Snake Diamond Role, but there are more than a few tips of the hat to his time on A&M in the late ‘80s — lead single ”I Want to Tell You About What I Want” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Globe of Frogs or Queen Elvis. Always an underrated and inventive guitar player, Benson gives Hitchcock plenty of room to flex his six~string muscles, and he digs into psych rock/jangle pop confections like “Virginia Woolf,” “Detective Mindhorn,” “Time Coast,” and “Mad Shelley’s Letterbox” with the fleet~fingered, double~tracked glee of a man who just rediscovered Revolver. Hitchcock’s adopted hometown of Nashville looms large on the Grant~Lee Phillips~assisted, pseudo~honky tonk number “I Pray When I’m Drunk,” and Russ Pahl’s weepy pedal steel paints golden sunsets over the lovely “Sayonara Judge” and the equally breezy “1970 in Aspic,” but as Hitchcock states in his typically verbose liner notes, his songs are “English myths, seen from abroad.” Nowhere is that more apparent than on “Raymond of the Wires,” a eulogy for his novelist, screenwriter, and cartoonist father, and an elliptical, psych~pop mini~masterpiece that skillfully wields both nostalgia and wonder.
♣ No longer the hyper~prolific, Byzantine food~, sex~, and death~obsessed Syd Barrett~phile of old — well, maybe just a little bit — Hitchcock has settled into a sort of seasoned eccentricity, and this economical, late career gem proves that he’s still got plenty of Madcap Laughs left in the hopper.
Original studio albums:
¤ Black Snake Diamond Röle (1981)
¤ Groovy Decay (1982)
¤ I Often Dream of Trains (1984)
¤ Fegmania! (1985) — with the Egyptians
¤ Element of Light (1986) — with the Egyptians
¤ Globe of Frogs (1988) — with the Egyptians
¤ Queen Elvis (1989) — with the Egyptians
¤ Eye (1990)
¤ Perspex Island (1991) — with the Egyptians
¤ Respect (1993) — with the Egyptians
¤ Moss Elixir (1996)
¤ Jewels for Sophia (1999)
¤ Luxor (2003)
¤ Spooked (2004)
¤ Olé! Tarantula (2006) — with the Venus 3
¤ Goodnight Oslo (2009) — with the Venus 3
¤ Propellor Time (2010) — with the Venus 3
¤ Tromsø, Kaptein (2011)
¤ Love from London (2013)
¤ The Man Upstairs (2014)
¤ Robyn Hitchcock (2017)
★”“★ Robyn Hitchcock is one of England’s most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers. A surrealist poet, talented guitarist, cult artist and musician’s musician, Hitchcock is among alternative rock’s father figures and is the closest thing the genre has to a Bob Dylan (not coincidentally his biggest musical inspiration).
★”“★ Since founding the art~rock band The Soft Boys in 1976, Robyn has recorded more than 20 albums as well as starred in ‘Storefront Hitchcock’ an in concert film recorded in New York and directed by Jonathan Demme.
★”“★ Blending folk and psychedelia with a wry British nihilism, Robyn describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to’. His most recent album THE MAN UPSTAIRS is a bittersweet love letter to a vanishing world. Produced by legendary folk~rock svengali Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake) the album was critically acclaimed by MOJO, UNCUT and THE QUIETUS.
★”“★ “A gifted melodist, Hitchcock nests engaging lyrics in some of the most bracing, rainbow~hued pop this side of Revolver. He wrests inspiration not from ordinary life but from extraordinary imaginings…” — Rolling Stone
★”“★ “As a performer, he’s as much a wandering bard as a rock star.” — The Believer
★”“★ “Some spectral, lingering, emotional thundercloud hangs over The Man Upstairs…harks back to that infinitely distant yet eternally resonant emotional big bang” — UNCUT
|Robyn Hitchcock — Robyn Hitchcock|