Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 – Propellor Time

January 01, 1970



With the Soft
Boys, he has Underwater Moonlight. With The Egyptians, he has Queen
. As a solo artist, he has I Often Dream of Trains. And now,
with his latest group The Venus 3, which features what is essentially
three-fifths of the current incarnation of R.E.M. (guitarist Peter Buck,
bassist and Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey and drummer Bill Rieflin),
legendary Brit rock chameleon and prodigal son of Syd Barrett Robyn Hitchcock
comes forth with yet another career milestone in Propellor Time.


Released on English jazzman and occasional bandmate Terry Edwards’
tiny Sartorial Records imprint, this third V3 album is his best in years, a
tour-de-force that’s as catchy and streamlined as anything Hitchcock has
delivered in his 35 years making music, from the lucid soft rock of album
opener “Star of Venus” and the stream-of-conscious Basement Tapes psychedelia of “The Afterlife” to the indelible Athens
jangle of “Sickie Boy” and the unadulterated slice of Beatlesque grandiosity of
“Evolove”. And while the headline factor of this LP has been the caravan of
prolific pals making cameos here, including the likes of John Paul Jones,
Johnny Marr (who co-wrote album highlight “Ordinary Millionaire”) Nick Lowe and
former Soft Boys/Egyptians bandmate Morris Windsor, their esteemed collective
presence does not take away from the fluid interplay between the core
combination of Hitchcock and the Venus 3. Here, they sound more natural here
than they ever did on either Ole Tarantula or Goodnight Oslo, as
if they have truly found their voice as their own band beyond the marquee
moonshine of their primary endeavors. In a career teeming with magic moments, Propellor Time stands tall as the most
enchanting title of this most understated rock icon’s late-period oeuvre.


Standout Tracks: “Star of Venus”, “The Afterlife”,
“Ordinary Millionaire”, “Evolove” RON HART


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