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I Often Dream of Trains

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iTunes Review

At the time of its release at the tail end of 1984, I Often Dream of Trains was considered a necessary ‘back-to-basics’ move after the complicated and personally unsatisfactory sessions for 1982’s Groovy Decay and its modified alternative Groovy Decoy. Over time, it has proven to be among Robyn Hitchcock’s strongest, most engrossing releases. Primarily acoustic with Hitchcock playing all the instruments, Trains is a brilliant, intimate listen into a dark, private world where the recording artist sounds trapped in an attic with spooky piano notes trailing past the rudimentary acoustic guitars. “Sometimes I Wish I Was a Pretty Girl” is Hitchcock at his most direct and bold. “Uncorrected Personality Traits” is delightfully eccentric, matching Hitchcock’s elliptical free-floating word-puzzle lyrics about problematic adulthood with tight, regimented harmonies. “Sounds Great When You’re Dead” balances the explorative songwriter’s darker impulses with his need to write the bashing, celebratory hook. “Cathedral,” “Flavour of Night,” “Autumn is Your Last Chance” and “I Used to Say I Love You” are quiet, reflective musings that benefit from this simplified approach. Reissues have added and subtracted songs at seeming random. The sudden disappearance of the “bonus” cut “Mellow Together” is unfortunate, however, there is plenty here to obsess over.

Customer Reviews

One of my favorite albums of ALL TIME...

A beautiful, beautiful record - one of my top five favorite albums. The atmosphere is so strong - I can feel myself scuffing along the sidewalk in a drizzly autumn afternoon every time I hear it. Sad and funny - That's Robyn Hitchcock. "Uncorrected Personality Traits" may have saved my life ("adult alcoholic, middle-aged suicide" indeed...).

In the cathedral of time.

All the worshippers are blind. Need I say more?

a type of art

great art, to be exact

Biography

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