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WINTER ALBUM ROUNDUP : Hitchcock's Hothouse : Check List * * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty :

February 14, 1988|KRISTINE McKENNA

* * * ROBYN HITCHCOCK AND THE EGYPTIANS. "Globe of Frogs." A&M. In the tradition of inspired pop eccentrics, British musician Hitchcock writes songs that read as aural snapshots of a strange and exotic landscape that exists nowhere but in his own head. Combining a dazzling command of the English language with an innovative synthesis of disparate musical motifs, Hitchcock is a gifted original who has a good shot at rising above his present cult status. Though this prolific artist is well established as in the American college and alternative market, this is his first LP for a major American label, and it will be interesting to see how A&M handles this oddly unsettling record. Hitchcock takes a rather dark view of existence, and though he cloaks his fatalism in gallows humor and pretty daisy chain lyrics, his underlying pessimism comes through loud and clear in these 10 psychedelic vignettes--all of which are rather creepy. Nonetheless, one can't help admiring the feverish imagination that goes into creating Hitchcock's claustrophobic hothouse of the mind.

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