Robyn Hitchcock: Love From London (Yep Roc)

Robyn Hitchcock: Stupified
Robyn Hitchcock: Love From London (Yep Roc)

A quintessentially British songwriter in the same company as Ray Davies, the young Damon Albarn and Paul Weller, Hitchcock also possesses an English eccentricity. Few could pull off a song entitled I Want To Be An Anglepoise Lamp as he did for his first band the Soft Boys.

Now just turned 60 and still ignored by mainstream attention, he pares things back to crisply simple melodies delivered with a minimal embellishment (Lennon-like with a nod to the Rutles on the piano-propelled Stupefied) and his clearly enunciated vocals offer slightlydelic observations (the electro-trippy I Love You).

For every song oozing damaged beauty (the Syd Barrett-like Be Still, and Strawberry Dress) there's another twisting into the chaos of contemporary life and love (the mashing guitar menace of Fix You sounding closer to the Gallaghers).

And sometimes both aspects are drawn together (the lugubrious Harry's Song, the effortless Lennon-Brian Wilson style of Death and Love).

Hitchcock has done stronger albums (Ole! Tarantula and Goodnight Oslo, both with the Venus 3 which included REM's Peter Buck come to mind) and some songs here are Robyn-by-rote. But the best (the string-enhanced, six minute End of Time) are utterly persuasive.

A survivor, God bless 'im.

There is more on Robyn Hitchcock (and the Soft Boys) at Elsewhere starting here.


Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section

Inc: No World (4AD)

Inc: No World (4AD)

If this low lights, gentle, breathy and soul-infused r'n'b album weren't all done by this US duo of Andrew and Daniel Aged you'd imagine it could be an especially horizontal Back to MIne/Late Night... > Read more

Badd Energy: Underwater Pyramid (Flying Nun)

Badd Energy: Underwater Pyramid (Flying Nun)

Existing where irony meets earnestness, Badd Energy offer cheap drum machines, reductive guitar riffs, melodic ennui, and clunky or occasionally borrowed aphoristic rap, as with “you can't... > Read more

New Elsewhere

DON WAS INTERVIEWED (2014): This note's for you

DON WAS INTERVIEWED (2014): This note's for you

By coincidence, the day I got an e-mail to say famous producer Don Was -- head of the Blue Note jazz label these past two and half years -- was available for an interview I had just seen him on... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Maxi Priest

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Maxi Priest

British reggae star Maxi Priest came through the old soul music channel of the church, that's where he first started singing . . . so it's no surprise that there has always been a lot of soul in... > Read more