sun 26/05/2024

CD: Robyn Hitchcock - Love From London | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Robyn Hitchcock - Love From London

CD: Robyn Hitchcock - Love From London

Cultish English eccentric brings more jolly psychedelic tunery

'Love From London': tasty

Robyn Hitchcock has mustered some of the most bizarre song titles ever. Solo and with long defunct bands The Soft Boys and The Egyptians he’s come up with corkers such as “Sandra’s Having Her Brain Out”, “The Man With the Lightbulb Head” and “Wading Through a Ventilator”. None of the titles on his latest album quite match these for weirdness, but his penchant for jolly psychedelic tunery and lyrical dementedness remains intact, if mellowed with age.

Try this – from “My Rain” – for size: “My rain, it comes, through dark and purple lungs – do you know what I mean?” Frankly, I’ve rarely known what he means but the strange word portraits he whips out of the ether remain as fascinating as ever.

Sixty years old in March and with a career dating back to the mid-Seventies, Hitchcock’s international cult following includes R.E.M.’s Peter Buck (the pair eventually formed a band, The Venus 3). His music, when it hits form, as it does about half the time on Love From London, is delightful guitar pop, jangly and redolent of Syd Barrett’s more upbeat moments.

Highlights include the druggy “Stupefied” (“Ain’t no Kronar in your pants/Must have blown it in the doorway on those sugar-coated ants”), the opening “Harry’s Song”, which sounds like a Neil Young piano ballad, and the life-pondering “Death and Love”, a song that could masquerade as a recently disinterred release by Creation Records circa 1986. Best of all is album closer “End of Time”, as good as anything Hitchcock has ever done, simply strummed, emanating joy and, in its own peculiar way, accepting the end of all life. It’s doubtful this will be Robyn Hitchcock’s breakthrough album or, indeed, that he will ever have one, but it’s a tasty addition to a body of work that is always worth investigating.

Watch a rehearsal version of "Be Still" from Love From London

The strange word portraits he whips out of the ether remain as fascinating as ever


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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