Luxor (Editions PAF)
Andy (XTC) Partridge, Hitchcock seems to have been given a new lease on life
since adopting the independent path in releasing his own CDs. Since Hitchcock
and Warners parted company after the release of Jewels
for Sophia (1999), Hitchcock has quietly released a CD per year viz. A
Star for Bram (OK, actually outtakes from Sophia),
NextDoorLand (with the Soft Boys), Robyn Hitchcock sings Bob Dylan and now Luxor.
marks a significant milestone in Hitchcock’s life – he turned 50 in March.
For this auspicious occasion, Hitchcock digs deep into his past to assume the
bare acoustic styling of I Often Dream of
Trains (1984) and Eye (1990), both
high points in Hitchcock’s illustrious career to date.
references are never obscured, astute pop listeners will always pick up Syd
Barrett, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and Roger McGuinn in his work but
Hitchcock is anything but derivative. Not only does he remains a true original
but justly deserves to be named in the same breath as such luminous company.
will recognise Hitchcock’s trademark non sequitur lyrics and blended with his
distinctive songs make for illuminating work. The breezy “One L” –
ostensibly dedicated to Hitchcock paramour Michele Noach contains such nuggets
as, “And death is all around us like
a swarm of bees or maybe flies/They crash before our very eyes” – love and
death, typical Hitchcock themes. The bizarrely poignant “You Remind Me of
You” features the classic “You remind me of you when you’re down in the
hold/I’ll have your babies if you’ll have my cold.” Sublime.
pleasant folk-rocker “Keep Finding Me” is an curious examination of
relationships – “So follow me, so follow me/To the entrance of yourself/Sit
up straight and close your eyes and see/What became of me.” The faux bluesy
“Ant Corridor” reprises the obligatory insect song – “I wave it up and I
wave it back/The feeler’s good and the feeler’s black/Samosa in the garden
shed/I’m crawling over someone’s head/Ant corridor to my heart/It never
fades away, yeah.” And the vaguely throwaway “Solpadeine” is romantic
without being soppy – witness, “And God had a feeling that turned into a
girl/And then a woman/And then her bones.”