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Perspex Island


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Audio CD, September 27, 1994
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A & M Records
  • ASIN: B000002GJU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,598 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Oceanside
2. So You Think You're In Love
3. Birds In Perspex
4. Ultra Unbelievable Love
5. Vegetation And Dimes
6. Lysander
7. Child Of The Universe
8. She Doesn't Exist
9. Ride
10. If You Go Away
11. Earthly Paradise

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Todd Hagley on January 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Perspex Island marked a huge step in Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians' move from (at least in the U.S.) college radio act to major label players. Following the modest success of Globe of Frogs, it seemed that one more gleeming studio album with heavy promo duty would put the band over the top, so to speak. By this time, the warm friendship with REM was paying off in unintended ways; the band were invited to open on the US dates of the massive Green tour, which undoubtedly exposed them to a wider audience, but not necessarily the right audience for Robyn and company.

With Perspex Island, a much more focused pop sound was crafted and despite some reviewers finding fault, much of the songwriting is stronger than previous albums. To put it more concisely, this is one of those albums you either love or hate.

And for those who love it, it's a rewarding listen; layers of harmonies bounce off sharp drum beats while a 12 string Rickenbacker weaves over Andy Metcalfe's rich, fluid bass lines. Like many of the Egyptians' albums, this is an excellent headphone album to enjoy the more subtle backing arrangements, such as a guesting mandolin courtesy of Peter Buck.

For those who loathe the album, it's the usual suspect; Robyn's lyrical obsessions and turn of phrase. It's an acquired taste, sure, but there's quite a bit of it on this album. While I don't mind that as much, I can see a more casual fan becoming bored rather quickly.

Robyn dug deep into his emotion handbag and pulled out a brace of peppy (whisper it) love songs with "So You Think You're in Love" and "Ultra Unbelieveable Love", the former however a remnant from the days of the Soft Boys (check the linear notes from Can of Bees if you don't believe me). Who could blame Robyn?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ! Metamorpho ;) on February 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I don't know people. I don't know what I can say about listening to this album and have you TRULY understand what it's all about. With Robyn Hitchcock, I believe firmly in my soul (and with help from the illustrious barbershop quartet of guides I have at my disposal) that you have to be exposed to a certain amount of life's absurdities in order to appreciate him. You see, it is also my own belief that Robyn is a praying mantis in human form and, as such, one must tread lightly with criticism. I truly enjoy his artistry because while we may look at pop music like it was neo-classical art, Robyn decides to throw us many curves, putting 3 eyes and 2 noses on our vision like a left field Picasso! To categorize him is to confine him and we all know by now that Robyn Hitchcock can, at any time, slip away in to his own reality, frustrating us in our efforts to understand. But, with that being said, I can feebly attempt to tell you what I think is going on, not that it matters in the least. But, on a sensual level we all know one thing, and it's the music that counts.

First off, Perspex Island owes alot to the Beatles. The musical influences are amazing and, many times throughout, I can see the influences of Revolver and the White Album, Robyn did not really get into the wizardry of Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour, preferring to rely on affect rather than effect. Robyn sets the tone of the album like a black comedy, losing out on love but always coveying the absurdity of that while wearing his Mad Hatter's hat. Or is it Cat in the Hat? With Robyn, you never know. The songs presented here are rock solid pop with fresh. interesting construction.

All of it will remind you of something you've heard before, however, there is no copying here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Betsy Stephens on October 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Perspex Island is one of my top ten favorite albums. I have a few of his other stuff, but prefer this one. It is one of those albums that makes me feel calm and happy when I listen to it. I know all the words on this album and have listened to it over and over for the past nine years. I finally have to replace it after all that time. Not only could I just envelop myself in the music, but I find his words sometimes profound and sometimes laugh out loud funny ("There are no jokes in the bible!"). This album isn't as fun as "Balloon Man" but is a better album than "Globe of Frogs". In addition to being one of my favorite albums, it makes me nostalgic and happy. It doesn't give me a headache (I must be getting old) and the lyrics are intelligent. So to summarize, this album makes me happy (have I said that enough?). I know I've rambled, but I love this album and can't explain succinctly WHY I love it...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Garry Messick on March 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Robyn has called this his Beatles record, I guess because it's probably his most consistently melodic and lyrically straightforward album. Lot's of good stuff. The irresistable "So You Think You're in Love" and "Ultra Unbelievable Love" are catchy pop worthy of the Fab Four themselves, the sort of things that would have been huge hit singles in a better world, "Oceanside" is a churning, dramatic rush of a tune, "Birds in Perspex" is just beautiful, particularly the layered, Beach Boys-like coda, "Ride" is Robyn in prime Lennonesque mode, "She Doesn't Exist" is very pretty and very sad. For my money, one his best.
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