The Man Upstairs

Robyn Hitchcock

Veteran pop eccentric Robyn Hitchcock has long looked to Syd Barrett as a key antecedent, so it makes sense for him to team up with "Arnold Layne" producer Joe Boyd for this collection of covers and originals. But Boyd's work with artists like Nick Drake is a better reference point here; the producer blends Hitchcock's gruffly expressive voice with acoustic guitars, melancholy cello and gentle harmonies from Norway's Anne Lise Frøkedal, often to gorgeous effect. Not everything clicks, but Hitchcockian takes on songs like Roxy Music's "To Turn You On," the Psychedelic Furs' "The Ghost in You" and his own "Trouble in Your Blood" are hushed and lovely.

From The Archives Issue 1216: August 28, 2014
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