Friday, March 27, 2009


In 2004, Robyn Hitchcock signed up with Yep Roc (the home of middle-aged indie rockers) and released a collaboration with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings called Spooked.

The album was recorded and mixed in less than a week at Woodland Studios in Nashville, with limited overdubbing and everything recorded live. The results are equal parts Hitchcock, Welch & Rawlings, but still sounds, more or less, like a slightly above average Robyn Hitchcock album.

Spooked is the sort if album that gets three stars in Rolling Stone, a 7.2 in Pitchfork, and a 74 (generally favorable) in metacritic. The very embodiment of "okay". For me, Spooked is an album that I enjoy while it's playing, but none of the songs really stand out, so it's never stuck with me as an album.

I like the first song "Television" (the "bing a bong a bing" intro is really infectious) but it seems longer than it needs to be. The Dylan cover ("Trying To Get To Heaven") is interesting but also kind of long, and many other songs are just kind of "there". The two standouts on the album for me are "Everybody Needs Love" (a Beatlesque love song, complete with sitars) and "If You Know Time" (a great song that dates back to the 2002 Soft Boys tour). Here's a video of that one set to scenes from the 2002 "Time Machine" movie.


The Modesto Kid said...

I like this record a lot -- for me the standout songs are "Full Moon In My Soul" and the weird, weird "Demons and Fiends". And the little spoken PSA at the end of the record is pretty funny. Do you know if "English Girl" was written a long time before this record? Somehow it always sounds to me like something he would have been singing in the 80's.

Steve said...

I'm not sure about "English Girl", but it sounds like it was written for the album. "So haggard, and I don't mean Merle" -- I love that line!