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Yep Roc records is proud to release "Spooked", a collaboration by English singer-songwriter/eccentric Robyn Hitchcock and acclaimed Americana duo Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
Recorded in Nashville with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Robyn Hitchcock's 23rd solo album in as many years finds him continuing in the acoustic mold of Luxor but with a good dose of Americana, relying solely on the pair for accompaniment, backing vocals, and production. According to Hitchcock, Spooked is essentially the product of a weeklong Dylan-fueled jam session with Welch and Rawlings, a fan of whose Hitchcock had recently become but who had been fans of his for nearly 20 years. "It was as if I was inside one of their records, but with me singing too," said Hitchcock about the sessions, and their influence is indeed palpable, most notably on songs like the folksy "English Girl," with its plaintive guitar and Wurlitzer accompaniment, and the slide-heavy, drum-propelled "We're Gonna Live in the Trees."
Yet the real standout tracks are those to which Welch and Rawlings lend their harmonic talents, such as "Demons and Fiends" and especially "Television." The latter, an earnest, pleading song of love, is among the most heartfelt of Hitchcock's career, even with his bedroom TV set its nominal object. ("Television, I'm so sorry / If I turned you off back then / I'm so small in your dimension / My kid will look like you, I swear.") So it remains a safe bet that there never will be a Robyn Hitchcock album that can't be described at least partially as "quirky"--this one certainly fits the bill. But being able to express penetrating insight and emotion through superficially bizarre material has always been one of his major talents, and Spooked demonstrates that, at age 51, Robyn Hitchcock's best days are definitely not behind him. --Benjamin Lukoff
Recommended Albums by Robyn Hitchcock and Gillian Welch
A Star for Bram
I Often Dream of Trains
Time (The Revelator)
The Soft Boys, Underwater Moonlight
I heard the first track (Television) on siriusxm the other day. I loved the song and at once knew it was by Robyn Hitchcock. Read morePublished on January 29, 2013 by R. S. Outten
Spooked - its okay. I'm a little meh..
Theres a couple good (quite good) tracks that you can find out there that are not on the cd: Theres No Way Out of Time (appeared... Read more
I was a little lukewarm when I first heard this, thinking it atmospheric and pleasant but a little bland compared to his more rock-oriented albums. Read morePublished on March 18, 2008 by phrase anatomy
If you have a penchant for moody, mysterious songs, ethereal vocals, and ringing acoustic timbres, you'll flip over this Robyn Hitchcock album. Read morePublished on February 19, 2007 by twangmon
I was surprised at how warm this CD was after the rather detached coolness of LUXOR. Everything here is open, relaxed and comfortable. Read morePublished on November 5, 2006 by W. D. Scales
Mature release from this longtime UK kook. Finally gets it right with one delicious hook after another. Read morePublished on March 26, 2006 by eggandchipstwice
"So haggard, and I don't mean Merle, I wilted before the English Girl." Absolutely classic.Published on January 28, 2006 by Dave
It's somewhat disturbing that reviews of Robyn's work seem to always include the word "quirky". I, too, am guilty of having used this word in at least one review of one of Robyn's... Read morePublished on January 10, 2006 by Self-kerbed
Although Robyn Hitchcock has long removed himself from the "harder" material of The Soft Boys and his Egyptians records, I found "Spooked" to be the most consistent and beautiful... Read morePublished on November 18, 2005 by Charlie Horse