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The Man Upstairs

Robyn Hitchcock Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £10.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Aug 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc
  • ASIN: B00KRSFRQW
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. The Ghost In You 4:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. San Francisco Patrol 4:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. To Turn You On 4:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Trouble In Your Blood 4:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Somebody To Break Your Heart 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Don't Look Down 5:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Ferries 3:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Comme Toujours 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. The Crystal Ship 2:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Recalling the Truth 4:26£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

2014 album from maverick UK singer-songwriter produced by Joe Boyd, mixing new original tunes alongside covers of songs by Roxy Music, Psychedelic Furs & The Doors.Includes a download code.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is The Man Upstairs? 27 Aug 2014
By Steve
Format:Audio CD
What a bittersweet moment. This album arrives on the heels of the sparkling LOVE FROM LONDON (which this fan feels should have been a much bigger hit!) To put it in perspective, for me LONDON is the spring/summer side of RH, more muscular than its follow up. MAN UPSTAIRS is fall/winter, the mellow daydreamer of the two. You can almost see the leaves change color in your mind. By the end of the album you are watching the snow covered ground with that blinding streak of yellow sunlight peeking through the evergreens.

Don't get me wrong, this is a GOOD thing! These are not sad songs, but they are very introspective. The mix of originals and covers blend perfectly. The only change I would have made is that the lullaby-like Don't Look Down should have closed the album. It was strange how the songs sometimes morphed for me, as Ferries wasn't a favorite until multiple listens. Comme Toujours is fun for the mix of French and English lyrics, but the strangest thing was the glints of memory jarring fragments of music from another time. Recalling The Truth closes the album and to me seems a personal moment for the Gentleman, so I do the mental equivalent of diverting my eyes and hiding under the blanket of thick, warm guitar as the fireplace burns down to embers.

I approached my review as a fan and not a critic. There is an excellent review by Harold Lepidus online that examines each song in detail. However for me, I prefer to listen over time, finding new details and nuances along the way. To delve too deep all at once would be like squeezing an orange dry. You have the wonderful juice to drink, but the shell is spent. I'd rather enjoy the thin slices for as long as I can.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful album by a brilliant songwriter 17 Sep 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One of the most brilliant songwriters you've never heard of, the eccentric Mr H is at his tender, witty best here. Possibly my favourite RH? Anyway, buy it, you won't regret it. Then buy Spooked and Propellor Time.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comme Toujours 26 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD
So . . . this here new Robyn album . . .

I have seen Robyn live maybe 60+ times over the years and followed him since the Soft Boys (first time around). The reason I treasure him is that he is a unique voice. He has his own lexicon. There aren't many singer-songwriters who are unique. Robyn is, or was.

This collection is tasteful, understated and pretty. But are those the things that a Robyn Hitchcock is for? When I listen to a great Hitchcock album like Moss Elixir I hear the subconscious being manifest in song. It is as if a deep mossy well, buried for an eternity, has suddenly broken open and lots of undocumented creatures are slithering forth. There is magic and pagan wonder in albums like that.

Robyn is wretched at political songs (he admits this) and I also feel that he is so in thrall to the 1960s that he sometimes gets seduced into projects like The Man Upstairs. Yes, he carries it off. But I want to hear the outtakes: the ones with crabs driving trains and statues rowing out across moonstruck lakes!

Maybe I'm asking too much of the man. Maybe he should be allowed to grow old gracefully. But I think hanging out with smoothies like Joe Boyd does him few favours. The real Robyn is a far more prickly prospect. Maybe he needs to stub his toe on a Captain Beefheart album . . .
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5.0 out of 5 stars More beautiful songs. 25 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD
Thank you Robyn. More beautiful songs. Instantly loved it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Is The Man Upstairs? 26 Aug 2014
By Steve - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
What a bittersweet moment. This album arrives on the heels of the sparkling LOVE FROM LONDON (which this fan feels should have been a much bigger hit!) To put it in perspective, for me LONDON is the spring/summer side of RH, more muscular than its follow up. MAN UPSTAIRS is fall/winter, the mellow daydreamer of the two. You can almost see the leaves change color in your mind. By the end of the album you are watching the snow covered ground with that blinding streak of yellow sunlight peeking through the evergreens.

Don't get me wrong, this is a GOOD thing! These are not sad songs, but they are very introspective. The mix of originals and covers blend perfectly. The only change I would have made is that the lullaby-like Don't Look Down should have closed the album. It was strange how the songs sometimes morphed for me, as Ferries wasn't a favorite until multiple listens. Comme Toujours is fun for the mix of French and English lyrics, but the strangest thing was the glints of memory jarring fragments of music from another time. Recalling The Truth closes the album and to me seems a personal moment for the Gentleman, so I do the mental equivalent of diverting my eyes and hiding under the blanket of thick, warm guitar as the fireplace burns down to embers.

I approached my review as a fan and not a critic. There is an excellent review by Harold Lepidus online that examines each song in detail. However for me, I prefer to listen over time, finding new details and nuances along the way. To delve too deep all at once would be like squeezing an orange dry. You have the wonderful juice to drink, but the shell is spent. I'd rather enjoy the thin slices for as long as I can.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively simple but sonically deep 27 Aug 2014
By Muslimhumanist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am a huge Robyn Hitchcock fan and have been since the 80s. It is Robyn Hitchcock produced by the legendary Joe Boyd. What more does one really need to know? The original songs are great, the choices for covers are interesting and span decades, and the production has the excellence one expects from the genius of Joe Boyd. The record is sonically gorgeous. No one produces acoustic albums like this anymore. On repeated listening all sorts of things reveal themselves--almost hidden background vocals, the subtle mirroring of acoustic and electric guitar parts, the splendid blending of the timbre of Hitchcock's voice with the sound of long drawn out notes on the cello, Nick Drake like pairings of piano and acoustic guitar tones. Every time I listen something new is revealed. The covers--which are in some cases obscure "minor" album cuts--are fantastic. The Roxy Music song in particular, stripped down to basics and sung without Bryan Ferry's inherent irony, is a revelation emerging as a deeply melodic and heartfelt piece of music. I've already listened to this CD it multiple times and keep going back to it. It reminds me of "Spooked"--another of my favorite Hitchcock records, but it has its own elusive character and charm. Five stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robyn Hitchcock - Man Upstairs Review 2 Sep 2014
By Joseph Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Ho hum. Another year, another Robyn Hitchcock album!

This one produced by Joe Boyd (producer of Nick Drake, REM, among MANY others)

A very solid collection. Covers like Ghost in you (Psychedelic Furs song) have been on Robyn bootleg for years (not to mention his take on The Doors Crystal Ship off radio! on Unhatched Criblings)

Roxy Music is a nice surprise - his most recent cover of them from Avalon was off a WFMU broadcast (True to life) - here Robyn covers To Turn You On, which is nice

By this point Robyn's wearing his influences on his sleeve - you know, all the usual suspects, John Lennon/Beatles, Syd Barrett..

Here are the tracks - its the man's 40th album (solo or with without The Venus 3, The Soft Boys, Egyptians) or some absurd number. All of his work is solid. And its a shame you won't be hearing him on commercial radio anytime soon?

1 The Ghost in You" Richard Butler/Tim Butler 4:28
2. "San Francisco Patrol" Robyn Hitchcock 4:19
3. "To Turn You On" Bryan Ferry 4:10
4. "Trouble in Your Blood" Robyn Hitchcock 4:42
5. "Somebody to Break Your Heart" Robyn Hitchcock 2:21
6. "Don't Look Down" Grant-Lee Phillips 5:08
7. "Ferries" Anne Lise Frøkedal/Frode Strømstad 3:02
8. "Comme Toujours" Robyn Hitchcock 3:08
9. "The Crystal Ship" The Doors/Jim Morrison 2:27
10. "Recalling the Truth" Robyn Hitchcock

I believe the previous Robyn album was Trolley Bus 2? Tromso Kaptein? Although those might be only digital (Trolley Bus 2) and vinyl/digital (Tromso Kaptain)... There Goes the ice (a compilation) seems to be a vinyl release but that I've never heard so can't comment. Trolley Bus was a covers release, similar to this one (George Harrison, Beefheart tracks)

Hopefully there will be a 40 cd box set at some point! put out by Ralph Records at some point!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a mix-tape from a good friend 29 Aug 2014
By David Wahl - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A good Robyn Hitchcock album. This is one of the quiet, contemplative ones with an acoustic sound and spare production. Includes five originals and five covers (including Crystal Ship by The Doors). Some really touching songs, pretty melodies and the usual incredible lyrics. For a Hitchcock fan, this is almost like getting a mix-tape from a good friend.
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