It seems either impossible or super-difficult to simultaneously look backward and move forward. But eccentric underground pop legend Robyn Hitchcock has been remarkably productive in the 21st century, releasing both quality career retrospectives and new albums that glow with inspired energy.
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Hitchcock's latest LP, Goodnight Oslo, finds the gracefully white-haired Brit pushing his trademark goofy and/or mind-bendingly absurd words, sung in a heavily accented delivery amongst a jingly-jangly psychedelic pop backdrop. His like-minded Yankee band, The Venus 3 (R.E.M. members and affiliates Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Riefin), certainly add to the hop in Hitchcock's step, deftly indulging his genre left-turns and sonically egging on his eternally young will to be weird. The Decemberists' Colin Meloy guests on the record as well, but while Meloy's British folk-injected vox and interest in smartypants wordsmithing makes sense contextually, lyrically bent indie-rockers Stephen Malkmus and recently retired Silver Jew David Berman have more in common with the Hitchcockian school of the strange.