Friday, April 9, 2010

Ironic Groove: Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3's Propellor Time

I’ve always found Robyn Hitchcock’s music to be mystical, but not in the LSD sense of the word. His albums create a world that is ethereal and often filled with sadness. As a songwriter, he always succeeds in blending melancholy lyrics with uplifting music. On his new release with his current touring group, the Venus 3 (Peter Buck, guitar, Scott McCaughey, bass and Bill Rieflin, drums), Hitchcock sounds inspired and positive. Recorded in 2006, Propellor Time has a similar feel to Goodnight Oslo (2009) and Ole Tarantula (2007) a steady, consistent groove with great harmonies and ironic lyrics. The album opens with a trip to the "Star of Venus," a song about love and its ideals: “You must have seen it coming, a long long time ago, the ship of all your feelings, shipwrecked in one go.” The title track has a Syd Barrett-like delivery, a song so dreamy that you’re caught up in its 'psychedelic' despair. The last track, "Evolove," is a deliberate shot at creationists, done with humour and great phrasing. But the most positive song is "The Afterlife" where “everyone is made of meat/They’re full of life and life is sweet.” Hitchcock’s mystical world comes full circle on Propellor Time.

-- John Corcelli is an actor, musician, writer, broadcaster and theatre director.

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