Tulip Frenzy’s #5 Best Album of 2011: Robyn Hitchcock’s “Tromso, Kaptein”

Robyn Hitchcock’s glorious late career run of fine albums continued in 2011 with the the release of Tromso, Kaptein.  Taking the title track from Goodnight Oslo and reworking it in Norwegian, this quiet record proves that one of the great guitarists of the punk era can, some thirty years hence, still rock with a backing band comprised entirely of bass, drums, cello. What’s most notable about the Hitchcock who, since 2004, has produced one great album after another, is that rock’s great ironist is taking the craft of making albums entirely seriously.  Maybe he’s done that since the days with the Soft Boys, and only now we notice.  To the uninitiated who have seen Robyn Hitchcock show up on Tulip Frenzy’s Top 10 List lo these many years, and you wondered where, given the diversity of options, to start, Tromso, Kaptein would be a wonderful entry point, a mature, unplugged album of pop songs that have such finely wrought hooks, they should be displayed in a museum.  And we do not mean Robyn Hitchcock’s “Museum of Sex,” for this was an album that was all about love.

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