24 June 2007

Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - 1986 - Element Of Light

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Element Of Light was Robyn Hitchcock's 5th solo studio album and his second with The Egyptians. In many ways Element Of Light is a logical progression from Fegmania!, but there is a lot of creative growth here too. Whereas the previous album often went for an energetic folk-rock sound, Hitchcock and his band go for a more smoothed out, dreamy effect this time out (not to say that there's no bite to the music here and there). Further disproving Hitchcock's reputation as a Syd Barrett wannabe, Hitchcock includes a distinct Lennon vibe to this album, a little bit musically but definitely vocally and lyrically.

The album opens with its best track, "If You Were A Priest." It's almost as catchy as R.E.M.'s contemporary breakout hits on Document, but Hitchcock's somewhat blasphemous (yet genius) lyrics doomed the track never to play on anything but college radio. Hitchcock treads strange lyrical ground on the poppy "Ted, Woody, And Junior." "Winchester" effectively introduces the dreamy side of the album and it's another classic Hitchcock track.

The aforementioned Lennon sound is most noticeble on "Somewhere Apart," which is either a homage or a ripoff of the Plastic Ono Band album. Many other bits on the disc recall Lennon lyrics or vocals such as the lyrics of "Never Stop Bleeding." There is still plenty of Barrett influence most apparent on tracks like "Bass" and "Lady Waters And The Hooded One." Element Of Light closes with the fun little confection "Tell Me About Your Drugs," which is practically a compete return to the sound of The Soft Boys. I guess Hitchcock wanted to throw his old fans a bone.

Element Of Light's production better fits Hitchcock's music than on Fegmania!, but it's still not completely inspired. There is a strong dreamy atmosphere adorning several tracks here, but some of them like "Raymond Chandler Evening" and "Never Stop Bleeding" end up sounding practically the same. Still, the 80's-ness from the last album is much more smoothed out and for me is an improvement.

Once again, there is a clutch of bonus tracks on the Rhino reissue. This time they are all demos and live tracks except for the basically pointless spoken word "The Can Opener." The others are fun for comparision's sake, but add little to the album. I do like the demo for "Raymond Chandler Evening," and I'd like the spare "Leopard" demo if it didn't sound horrifically out of tune.

Buy Me:
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - Element Of Light

7 comments:

M.A.K. said...

Very nice to hear the bonus stuff for the first time,please post the bonus traks from the other two Robyn albums as well!
I just upzip 3 Robyn bonus songs from the Middle Class Hero Book/Interview thing...Eerie Green Storm Lantern isnt av anywhere else (as far as i know)...may i do "Funkytown"+"Kung Fu Fighting" later... in case you dont know dem.

-M


Here is the link for the file you uploaded:
http://download.yousendit.com/E009785903E7EE32

Dr. Schluss said...

The bonus tracks for the other two albums are there. Element Of Light is split simply because it is over 100mb. Enjoy them!

Oh yes, and thanks for your link!

Anonymous said...

Howdy There!

I will post the link for the Esquivel! upload later..or maybe at the weekend!...or do you want me to send it in an email?

Greetings!


-M

Dr. Schluss said...

Here's cool for the Esquivel links. Maybe some other folks will dig them too. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You can find the Esquivel Compilation+Infos here=

http://www.stephenmalkmus.com/punbb/upload/viewtopic.php?id=8237

-M

Anonymous said...

Hope it works?

Anonymous said...

chekk out my other stuff if you want=Roots Compilation+Neil Young "Time Fades Away".

Greetings!

http://www.stephenmalkmus.com/punbb/upload/viewtopic.php?id=8241