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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's the fella, 8 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Black Snake Diamond Role (Audio CD)
Robyn Hitchcock's the type of artist whose entire output you want to hear if you like the first album you try. Every track is different, yet intriguing. This, his first solo effort from the early 1980s, is the sound of a man who seems oblivious to the change in fashion from new wave to new romantic. He absorbs what goes on around him, but channels it into his own musical vision: wry, witty, always vivid songs encased in melodic music and a multitude of arrangements.

Featuring contributions from former members of new wave-era bands such as The Vibrators and Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club, as well as his previous band, The Soft Boys, this is incisive, guitar-oriented pop. The stand-out tracks are 'The Lizard', a suitably reptilian performance, 'Acid Bird' and 'Love'. The last-named track starts out like a typically sentimental song, ('The sun is shining on the ground') but soon develops a typically strange slant and is the only song I know that mentions Weetabix.

A mention should be made of the rhythm section, Matthew Seligman and Vince Ely, who give the music a solid and imaginative kick. The eight bonus tracks are not much less impressive than the album proper and show Hitchcock borrowing several different styles, from acoustic guitar and harmonica on 'Give Me A Spanner, Ralph', to the ersatz disco/funk of 'Grooving On A Inner Plane'. The only track I'm not keen on is the Jackanory-style 'Happy The Golden Prince' which closes the album. Otherwise, it's superb.
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Location: Hull, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,263