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Perspex Island

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4

Artist: Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: August 1991


Review by LarryG
3 stars out of 4

Hitchcock is one of the brightest, most imaginative songwriters around. Perspex Island was an effort to use a polished, rocking sound to introduce his quirky songs to a broader audience beyond his cult following. Commercially, it didn't work. Hitchcock's following has become even smaller in the 90's. But musically, Perspex Island is a success, retaining Robyn's unmistakable personality on great rock songs. With the help of REM's Peter Buck on guitar, the Egyptians seem to have a great time. So You Think You're in Love is giddy fun. Hitchcock's normally deadpan, very English vocals seem enlivened by the simple, straight forward sentiment as well as Buck and the band's playing. Ultra Unbelievable Love finds Hitchcock in an even more ebullient mood. The song has the form of a 70's rocker with big power chords but has unique Hitchcock touches with lines like "there are no jokes in the Bible, Keith" and "Every night I vibrate internally, that's my form of prayer." Oceanside is another great rocker with a great Andy Metcalfe bass line. Child of the Universe is a goofy psychedelic guitar rocker. Mark Isham's trumpet adds to the buoyant mood. Generally the slow songs don't work as well as the fun ones. Vegetation and Dimes is a bore. But She Doesn't Exist, with a nice assist from Michael Stipe, has the eerie beauty of Hitchcock's earlier classic ballads like (Insert to come in the next e-mail). Hitchcock's voice isn't great. It wavers and struggles with the high notes but fits with his loopy personality and sense of humor. On Perspex Island, some of Hitchock's interesting eccentricities are sacrificed to keep the music going but generally his distinctive songwriting and great rock and roll are both given a chance to shine.

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