#35 Robyn Hitchcock “Robyn Hitchcock” – 52 Weeks of 2017 Albums

In a recording career spanning four decades since the Soft Boys recorded their first EP, Give It To The Soft Boys, at Spaceward studios, Cambridge, in the heady days of England’s punk rock infused 1977, Robyn Hitchcock, recipient of this year’s South By Southwest Grulke Prize for Career Act, has seen it fit to release his first ever eponymously titled studio album. And in the same month that has seen The Kink’s Sir Raymond Douglas Davies release the backward looking Americana album reflecting his ruminations on a particularly British take regarding the distinctly American experience, fellow Brit Hitchcock, now based in America’s music mecca of Nashville, Tennessee, has simultaneously released the backward looking self titled Robyn Hitchcock album reflecting his ruminations on the uniquely English experience of the 1960’s of his youth. Laying somewhere in between The Beatles’ Rubber Soul and Revolver albums, producer Brendan Benson has made the 22nd Robyn Hitchcock studio album the kind of Robyn Hitchcock album he has always wanted to hear, one full of huge bottom end melodic McCartney bass lines, bright pre-psych guitar flashes and slightly softened edges from the Peter Buck Venus 3 backing band of the previous decade. Hitchcock’s first full-on electrified band outing since 2009’s Goodnight Oslo proves a welcome response to the quieter acoustic efforts of his last few records. Perhaps only lacking a solid finish Robyn Hitchcock is an unapologetically guitar-centric rock ‘n’ roll record with nary a synthesizer to be found, exactly as it should be for an album basking in the glow of the pre-psychedelic psunshine of England’s halcyon days of the mid 1960’s.

Rating: 9/10



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