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Element of Light

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iTunes Review

By the mid-1980s, eccentric British songwriter Robyn Hitchcock had found his psychedelic niche, streamlining his backing band, the Egyptians, until they motored with tight new wave paisley guitar-jangle accents. 1986’s Element of Light features some of Hitchcock’s most formidable songwriting. “If You Were A Priest” opens things with a driving beat and jagged electric guitars puncturing the soothing wash of keyboards alongside Hitchcock’s knowing sneer. “The President” captures Hitchcock’s sense of political alienation, while the spell-inducing “Raymond Chandler Evening” spotlights beautifully arpeggiated guitars and supportive basslines in little more than two minutes. “Ted, Woody and Junior” is quietly subversive. “Bass” is a jaunty, surrealistic number with Hitchcock piping off like a mad hatter. “Somewhere Apart” mimics a John Lennon piano rocker right down to its eerie vocal reverb. “Airscape” is a gorgeous love song that spends a day at the beach as its serpentine backwards guitar lines come snaking through. The expanded edition includes odds and ends that will most appeal to hardcore fans, but the initial ten tracks that originally comprised the album reign among Hitchcock’s most important material.

Customer Reviews

Clean for No Good Reason

Wow, man. Thanks for giving this fine album a bum review because sometimes-for no good reason at all-"clean" shows by the track listing. First time on itunes? Way to fight for your rights by giving a review of an album you may not have even previewed a track from. This is a part of Yep Roc's truly awesome re-release of Robyn's back catalog. If you have any taste at all you will buy it in some form. It is just THAT good and that dude before me is just THAT lame.

Imaginative, reflective pop

Sometimes pretty - always catchy gems.

Great Album that hasn't aged.

This album was my introduction to Robyn Hitchcock and I've been listening to it since its U.S. release on Glass Fish Records in the eighties. Some are melodic gems, some are fantastic lyrics, some are both. Get it and find out.


Born: March 3, 1953 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Robyn Hitchcock is one of England's most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers. Despite having been persistently branded as eccentric or quirky for much of his career, Hitchcock has continued to develop his whimsical repertoire, deepen his surreal catalog, and expand his devoted audience beyond the boundaries of cult stature. He is among alternative rock's father figures and is the closest thing the genre has to a Bob Dylan (not coincidentally his biggest inspiration). Starting...
Full Bio