Album Review: Propellor Time by Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3
Excellent, Based on 3 Critics
AllMusic - 90 Based on rating 9/10
Robyn Hitchcock has made a few albums that announce themselves as masterpieces right out of the box, such as I Often Dream of Trains, Fegmania!, or the Soft Boys' Underwater Moonlight, but his catalog also includes a handful of records that sneak up on you with a subtle excellence, such as Eye, Respect, and Jewels for Sophia. Propellor Time falls into the latter category; on the surface, it doesn't feel all that different from the albums that immediately preceded it (Olé! Tarantula and Goodnight Oslo), but play it a few times, let it sink in, and this album sounds like one of the most satisfying things Hitchcock has made since the mid-'90s. Primarily recorded in 2006 but not completed until 2010, Propellor Time features Hitchcock backed by his frequent partners the Venus Three, featuring Peter Buck on guitar and mandolin, Scott McCaughey on bass, and Bill Rieflin.
Robyn Hitchcock's new album with his Venus 3 (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and Bill Rieflin) was actually recorded in 2006, after the group's debut, Olé Tarantula, and before last year's Goodnight Oslo, its delayed release a product of Hitchcock's simply not having finished the tracks. But Propellor Time rivals the best of his new band's work. Differing from his last Venus 3 album, Propellor Time was recorded at Hitchcock's home, and the vibe on the album reflects a certain looseness and comfort that being at home must bring.
British psychedelic evergreen remains on playfully brilliant form. Stevie Chick 2010 One of the UK’s most endearing and enduring psychedelic treasures, Robyn Hitchcock has long balanced consistency with a prolific creative nature that shows no sign of abating. Propellor Time is the third album Hitchcock has recorded since 2006 with his Venus 3, a trio with impressive CVs, numbering Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey on bass, ex-Ministry sticksman Bill Rieflin on drums, and REM’s Peter Buck on 12-string and acoustic guitars.