11 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and his touring partners Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey backing Robyn Hitchcock as the Venus 3, Goodnight Oslo is very much a band album. Though it's Hitchcock's songs and voice leading the circus, it's Buck's backing jangle guitar and the rhythm section's unassuming grace that brings these songs to life as if the foursome were caught impromptu in a comfortable living room kicking back a few beers and enjoying each other's company. "What You Is" uses a Creedence-like "Run Through the Jungle" guitar tremolo to signify the impending good time, while "Saturday Groovers" kicks in with spirited band interplay. However, as Hitchcock ages — he's been recording since the ‘70s — he's most effective on the songs that reflect back ("Goodnight Oslo," "Sixteen Years") or use a forlorn turn of melody to convey their tortured emotions ("I'm Falling"). He still enjoys the possibilities of love and language ("Intricate Thing") but he's most at home indulging in some pretty harmonies that make anything he says sound like the right thing to believe.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and his touring partners Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey backing Robyn Hitchcock as the Venus 3, Goodnight Oslo is very much a band album. Though it's Hitchcock's songs and voice leading the circus, it's Buck's backing jangle guitar and the rhythm section's unassuming grace that brings these songs to life as if the foursome were caught impromptu in a comfortable living room kicking back a few beers and enjoying each other's company. "What You Is" uses a Creedence-like "Run Through the Jungle" guitar tremolo to signify the impending good time, while "Saturday Groovers" kicks in with spirited band interplay. However, as Hitchcock ages — he's been recording since the ‘70s — he's most effective on the songs that reflect back ("Goodnight Oslo," "Sixteen Years") or use a forlorn turn of melody to convey their tortured emotions ("I'm Falling"). He still enjoys the possibilities of love and language ("Intricate Thing") but he's most at home indulging in some pretty harmonies that make anything he says sound like the right thing to believe.

TITLE TIME
11

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

Crashedlux ,

Goodnight Oslo!

"Goodnight Oslo" finds Hitchcock a bit more laid back than "Ole Tarantula". That is not to say that the album is tired, far from it. In fact, it's a bit easier to fall in love with the songs themselves, especially "Your Head Here", which has perhaps one of the more interesting guest vocals courtesy of Lianne Francis. The real gem here, though, is the title tack, a brooding minor key meditation on moving on, with some harmonies that are very reminiscent of the Soft Boys. In any case, the thing about Robyn Hitchcock is that any of his records are a good introduction to his body of work, and this one works especially well in winter.

Guitar Lord ,

Robyn Hitchcock's Renaissance Continues

Robyn Hitchcock has had a long career comprised of Soft Boys, Egyptians, Indie success and major label egress.
The new era of Robyn's career continues today with the release of his second album backed by the Venus 3 (AKA 3/5 of REM). Those who delight in Robyn shouting about vegetables & mollusks while spitting bile at some enemy or other may be disappointed, but those who have matured along with Robyn into semi-functioning adults will revel in his poetic take on the world around us.
As with Ole' Tarantula, Goodnight Oslo reveals it's charms with repeated listens. Robyn is energized by his new first rate backing band and this new music certainly benefits from the absence of Andy Metcalfe's overly busy basslines.

riverdeep ,

a very pleasant surprise

Hadn't really checked out Robyn's music in quite a while, but I find these tunes catchy, current, lyrically interesting. Nice alt country production too.

More By Robyn Hitchcock