BBC – Music – Evaluation of Robyn Hitchcock
Turning 60 in March 2013, none-more-English singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock is unquestionably about due for set up at nationwide treasure-dom’s high desk.
Not that this, the erstwhile Mushy Boy’s 19th solo outing, panders completely to Hitchcockian stereotype: particularly, Syd Barrett-via-Edward Lear neo-psych-rock whimsy, with a aspect order of Paisley Underground guitar swirl and chime.
Certainly, whereas his customary playfulness in dissecting issues of the guts and cerebellum is a reassuring hallmark of Love From London, the album additionally proffers a brooding, politicised, generally incensed Hitchcock – even when its title does extra readily connote a beatific 1967 hippie “occurring”.
That ire is made most manifest on the motorik, fuzz-toned Repair You, through which Hitchcock vents his spleen on the architects of the present international monetary disaster and the following buck-passing: “They make you redundant and name you a slacker.”
Think about an up to date Plastic Ono Band giving it to the person, submit Bear Stearns, and so on, and also you’re shut. Its righteous vitriol is ready askew by sometimes psychedelic references to “strawberry mousse” and the like.
Elsewhere, Hitchcock and his adroit band (bassist Paul Noble, cellist Jenny Adejayan and vocalists Lizzie Anstey, Jenny Marco, Lucy Parnell and Anne Lise Frokedal) become familiar with an eclectic litany of the person’s less-quotidian essays, his soi-disant “work you’ll be able to hearken to”.
Sometimes, Strawberries Costume marries the glinting psyche-pop of Hitchcock’s 80s combo The Egyptians with phantasmagoric lyrics in regards to the Telecom Tower and “a fantastic younger sprite, bare from the naval downwards”.
Elsewhere, My Rain is a lilting, mysterioso late-night waltz, brimming with rollercoaster, Syd-like vocal mannerisms, rippling guitars and mournful cello.
Proceedings conclude with the sprawling Finish of Time, a track that offers with the tough enterprise of the post-existential void (ergo loss of life). Even right here, Hitchcock can disarm with a easy, childlike simile (“Day breaks like an egg”) and all over the place the possibly portentous topic of mortality is deftly addressed.
It culminates in a hymnal, valedictory refrain which slowly fades into the ether, leaving simply the lapping waves of eternity, earlier than a coda, replete with a chant of the album title, returns us to the residing, respiratory right here and now.
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