Robyn Hitchcock's new CD with the Venus 3, "Goodnight Oslo," is a terrific album, full of great songs. It doesn't actually come out until February 17th, but because Yep Roc is awesome, I got my copy last Thursday! I've listened to it, but I don't know if I can say I've truly absorbed it yet. But I wanted to post a review of it just because it makes me feel like a real record reviewer to do it before the CD is released!
The album starts off with "What You Is," a funky rocker, with the catchy chorus, "It doesn't matter what you was, it's what you is and what you isn't, is what you are." One of the great lyrics in this song is "You might have been Columbia, releasing orange 45's." (Robyn also mentions bees in "What You Is," one of his lyrical preoccupations.) "Saturday Groovers" is as uptempo and catchy a song as Robyn has written, about the joys of the weekend. One of my favorite songs on the record is the gorgeous "I'm Falling." Robyn sings, "I'm afraid of loving you, and you're afraid I can't." What a lovely line. "Hurry For the Sky" has a slight country lilt to it, it's an easygoing swinger, not really like any other Robyn song I've heard. "Up To Our Nex," from the film "Rachel Getting Married," is a terrific, poppy song, with horns providing some soulful backing. Again, it's a different sound for Robyn, and it's quite enjoyable. "Intricate Thing" is another lovely little song, "Love between a woman and a man is an intricate thing, you're not just friends, you're not just bodies on the sofa. And when it's over, will you speak to each other again, ever?" Robyn goes on to dissect relationships further, "You got all kinds of seeds that you don't know you're seeding, all kinds of needs that you don't know you're needing, all kinds of signals that you don't know you're reading, little drops of blood that you don't know you're bleeding." Brilliant, brilliant writing, Robyn sums up relationships in four lines. "TLC" features some gorgeous cello work by Jenny Adejayan. And the moody "Goodnight Oslo" closes things out in style. "I've got special powers that render me invisible to everyone but you," Robyn sings.
In short, "Goodnight Oslo" is fantastic, Robyn's writing is as good as it has ever been, and there's no filler among these ten tracks. Order your copy today!
P.S. Robyn is touring the States in April, and he's coming to the Twin Cities! I have my ticket already! Maybe he read my entry telling him he should tour and come here...