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Top Customer Reviews
My only complaint is that the label Yep Roc's packaging is skimpy--no booklet with photos or lyrics, just the 2-panel digipak. For that reason, those who favor downloads might as well buy it from i-Tunes. Myself, as a CD collector, still opt for the physical artifact, but if you download this rather than buy the CD, you're not missing much. (Contrast, for instance, Yep Roc's packaging with Rhino's Robyn Hitchcock reissues in the 90's, which boasted lavish booklets filled with text and photos.)
He's always been a Beatles fan as well as a fan of the jingle jangle sound of the Byrds. These influences blend nicely On Olé!. The album has a great mix of acoustic driven songs complemented by some great twin guitar jammy songs.
Peter Buck of REM fame has showed up to play bass and 12 string time and again on Robyn's records in the last 20 years or so. On Olé!, he doesn't just make a cameo, but is part of the band. It's really quite a thrill to see musicians of this caliber playing small clubs. It's proof that they're not doing it for the money (at least not in Buck's case); their chemistry in the studio and on stage prove that they're in it for the love of the music.
I can't think of another musician who better embodies the Jungian axiom that the artist serves as a vessel of creativity and represents society's collective consciousness. Hitchcock releases his dream imagery for the rest of us to interpret.
As with anyone's dreams, the dreamer often doesn't know the meaning of a dream until weeks, months, or years later. I'm sure in Hitchcock's case, he is just as puzzled about meaning of his art as are his fans.
So listen carefully to the dreams Hitchcock is sharing with us. As with our own dreams, sometimes the seemingly nonsensical fragments reveal themselves and become powerful symbols in our daily lives, and other times, well, they remain dream fragments, but are no less powerful.
As a longtime fan (I first saw Robyn perform when I was in college in 1985) I think it's great that Robyn has steadily recorded and released new material for all this time. It's just a bit frustrating to consider his output since about 1990--the intermittent moments of brilliance on his records of the last fifteen years indicate that he's capable of creating another "Underwater Moonlight" if he'd just not settle for putting out product and focus a little harder on the songwriting.
This is probably because of two songs: Briggs (track #7) and Belltown Ramble (track #4). Needless to say they're my two favourites, although the title track, #5 has grown on me as of late. This means that I consider the interval between songs #4 and #6 the core of this album.
Belltown Ramble is the longest track at 5 and a half minutes. It's probably the most elaborate of the songs, lyrically speaking. Although it is named after a major, gentrified neighbourhood in Seattle, the lyrics are populated by very disparate characters such as an Uzbek warlord, a certain Tamerlane -and even a reference to R.E.M. By now Robyn Hitchcock is no stranger to Seattle, having often collaborated with musicians Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin.
Belltown also features a series of funny characters named after numbers, this is a technique Hitchcock also employed in the lyrics to Goodnight Oslo's "Hurry for the Sky". For example, in the latter song, "number two said to number 1", while in Belltown Ramble "number 7 (is) reclining in his chair with headphones on".
Ole Tarantula is the most "countrified" song on the album while Briggs (A man's got to know his limitations) is a very nice song with highly addictive lyrics. I challenge you to listen to Briggs without repeating it's catchy chorus "Driving in your car in San Francisco".
Tarantula is a nice set of pop songs and a great first instalment in the trilogy of RH + The Venus 3.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dud Album. The sound was tinny and whiny. I tried to like this artist. Some compared him to Lennon......DREAM ON.
Gave my copy to Goodwill. Just aint my scene. I tried.
This is a classic!.... every single track on this album is a great song... OLE Tarantula is a great catchy track.... you can't listen to NY Doll without welling up.... Read morePublished on December 23, 2007 by M. Muhsin
Has its moments, but not up to snuff with earlier works. For anyone not overly familiar with RH; just get his greatest hits album. Read morePublished on October 26, 2007 by Scott Waldon
Even at his darkest moments there is something about Hitchcock's music that puts a spring in your step. A great album from a truely great performer.Published on October 4, 2007 by Hannie
This is by far the strongest overall album Robyn has done since the Egyptians, and compares pretty favorably with anything he's done, ever. Read morePublished on February 22, 2007 by Kevin Kissell
Not much more to elaborate on here as the positive reviews below have said it nicely. The record is playful, yet serious, deep and light at the same time. Read morePublished on February 15, 2007 by D. Capshaw
I received this cd not having heard Hitchcock's latest recordings in some ten years. It's fair to say I was looking forward to catching up with the old master, but sadly I found... Read morePublished on January 24, 2007 by tick tock
My husband heard this song on the radio and told me how much he liked it. I didn't want to have to go to the crowded stores since it was a Christmas gift. Read morePublished on January 16, 2007 by Penny R. Schumm