Monday, September 15, 2014
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: ROBYN HITCHCOCK - THE MAN UPSTAIRS
The idea here was warm and woody, with lots of up-close atmosphere. Working on the project was the illustrious Joe Boyd, he of Nick Drake on the folk side, but the early producer of another of Hitchcock's heroes, Syd Barrett and the very early Pink Floyd. He brings Hitchcock right into your head, the guitar/cello combo providing the right mellow mood, Robyn dishing up some thoughts on aging gracefully, and how the mysteries of life continue on, nothing seeming any clearer despite the advancing age. Actually quite a bit of the tales come from covers this time, Hitchcock choosing to re-interpret a few add choices at acoustic numbers. The disc opens with The Psychedelic Furs' number The Ghost In You, always a lovely song that loses nothing relieved of its 80's production. The Doors' Crystal Ship is another success, the Morrison bombast replaced by piano and a sensitive reading by Hitchcock: "Before you slip into unconsciousness, I'd like to have another kiss, another flashing chance at bliss." Hitchcock describes this as an album with a lot of autumn on it, with nostalgia and middle-age. Better to embrace it then, as he has done here.