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Love From London

24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 5, 2013
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Love From London + Man Upstairs + Propellor Time
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Editorial Reviews

LOVE FROM LONDON is the latest release from Robyn Hitchcock, and it celebrates life in a culture imperiled by economic and environmental collapse. 'These are exciting times' Robyn says, 'we are surfing on the momentum of chaos. If a consensus on global warming comes from the people, then the media, the politicians, and the corporations will have to adapt to it. Rock and Roll is an old man's game now, so I'm staying in it'. The release of Love From London commemorates and celebrates Robyn's 60th Birthday.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 5, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • ASIN: B00AQ9984E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,746 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Robyn's most recent studio albums, 2010's 'Propellor Time,' featuring the Venus 3, and the relatively obscure 'Tromso Kaptein' from 2011, were rather stripped-down affairs, more serious than his normal absurd nature, and filled with subtle, Lennon-esque beauty. While 'Love From London' still has a low-key vibe that's at times quite serious, his royal quirkiness is back in spades, with whimsical lyrical wordplay and odd-yet-melodic chord progressions that bring to mind his mid-80's work with The Egyptians, such as 'Fegmania' and 'Element of Light,' with a psychedelic sound that is, uniquely, as dependent on the lyrics as it is the music.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on the playful, classic Hitchcock-sounding "Devil on a String," which easily could have fit on the aforementioned albums. Most of the songs, however, are much darker-themed lyrically, dealing with topics both existential--which is nothing new for him--and political, but his patented delivery results in a sound that's downbeat and brooding yet catchy and fun at the same time.

Highlights for me include the haunting, surrealistic "Harry's Song," the fuzzed-out guitars and Krautrock beats of "Fix You," and especially the epic closer, "End of Time," a hypnotic track with swirling keyboards and excellent lyrics dealing with, yes, the end of time, but in a uniquely clever way that only Hitchcock could ever conceive of. It's a perfect example of his one-of-a-kind dream-logic narratives, with lyrics that seem completely indecipherable when read by themselves, but when combined with the music, transports the listener into a demented dream world where it makes complete and total sense.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Loren West on March 13, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Robyn Hitchcock is one of my all time favorite artists. His body of work is highly original, consistently excellent and very impressive in both scope and breadth. Robyn started in 1972 with "The Soft Boys" and has continued making wonderful music to this day, as a solo artist, with "The Egyptians" and "The Venus 3". How many artists have managed to sustain a career arc that long while staying true to their artistic vision and their original sound? Very few I should think.

"Love From London" fits in well with the rest of Robyn's catalog, maintaining his high standards both musically and lyrically. "Harry's Song" starts with eerie piano arpeggios reminiscent of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata". Robyn sings slightly off pitch in places here, perhaps thumbing his nose at radio friendly pop pablum that relies on pitch correction to the extent it changes the sound of the human voice. Two stand out tracks are "I Love You" and "Devil On A String" which rock a bit harder and are a little more experimental than most of Robyn's recent offerings. "Strawberries Dress" and "Love and Death" bring us back to more familiar territory recalling hypnotic, swirling psychedelic pop from the 1960s and 1970s. As with most of Robyn's music one doesn't "get" the whole CD on first listen and new tracks reveal their beauty to the listener gradually over time.

If you are a Robyn Hitchcock fan I highly recommend "Love From London". If you have never heard his music before I suggest starting with "I Often Dream Of Trains". If you are like me you will soon be hooked and end up buying everything he has ever done including this lovely new offering.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sean Quinn on March 7, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Hitchcock's records of late have seen a return to form with just great writing and production. One of the most consistently great songwriters working today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregory M. Odegaard on March 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I attended an amazing RH show here in Portland last November and he blew the roof off the underground "dump" (beautiful Doug Fir Lounge), like normal. He made an off handed comment to working on a new release leading me to think, after all these years, what could he truly create that would wow me. Then I read that he was working with possibly a new line up of musicians, which made me think, either this will be different and likely "OK" or hopefully something truly innovative and wonderful, like we all know he likely can continue to produce.

Thankfully and frankly quite amazingly, this is not just innovative and wonderful, but maybe something even more than these fine nice words. I truly believe we are hearing the product of a musical genius stretching his legs and setting us all up for a long and brilliant new phase in his great career.

That all having been said, there really is no week songs here and I would be troubled to pick which are the best, but suffice it to say when listening to a song like Death & Love, the first few moments led me to think, OK here is something slower and maybe not quite to my taste, but it built up to a very nice pace and the wordsmithing from Mr. Hitchcock, put me thinking this was not only going to be a bit of a downer song, but something completely the opposite.

OK, Fix You is probably my favorite song, if pressed into the matter, but Stupefied continues his welcome and subtle obsession to Norway.

Simply brilliant work and to a degree nothing like I could have imagined in my wildest expectations. So to RH, thanks once again, now well over 30 years later, you keep doing what you do and keep doing it well and maybe even better. In my book this is the sign of a true genius, continuing to pull these great songs out of some back reaches of his wise old brain.

Buy this now and thank me later.
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Global warming?
Yes, that sounds like it's for the best. With exploding heads, conversations with dead wives, and tentacles between worlds, Hitchcock used to be so scientifically accurate!
Mar 2, 2013 by Jerry Larson |  See all 2 posts
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