Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Goodnight Oslo (2009)

"Over the past three decades, Robyn Hitchcock has come to represent different things to different people. Throughout his solo career, much of which was compiled for a pair of jam-packed boxed sets, Hitchcock has stood alone as a kind of post-modernist Dylan, combining Roger McGuinn’s Rickenbacker guitar sound with René Magritte’s surrealist humor.

As frontman for the Soft Boys, Hitchcock first gained our attention as the Syd Barrett of the post-punk paisley scene, a mantle which he continued to hold, notably, when backed by the Egyptians, with whom he briefly tipped his toe in the mainstream with the 1991 near-hit "So You Think You're In Love" from the radio-friendly Perspex Island.

What’s increasingly clear is that, no matter what’s going on in the backing tracks, Hitchcock is, at heart, an emotionally frank folk singer with a genuine knack for translating complex emotional states into startlingly original poetry.

This candor has been even more visible in his recent work with the Venus 3, comprised of fellow travelers and Minus 5 members Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and Bill Rieflin. Having released the acclaimed Olé! Tarantula back in 2006, RH & the V3 have returned with Goodnight Oslo, aided and abetted by guests Colin Meloy (Decemberists), Morris Windsor (Egyptians/Soft Boys), Sean Nelson (Harvey Danger), Welsh singer Lianne Francis, and horn player Terry Edwards.

Goodnight Oslo finds the 55-year-old Englishman blending his past personas more cohesively than ever, culminating in a portrait of an artist increasingly comfortable with both who he has been and who he has become. It’s a compelling and confident work and one of his best albums in years." by Paul Myers

Grab this before it gets pulled.

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