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Ole! Tarantula

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (112 ratings)
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Ole! Tarantula album cover
01
Adventure Rocket Ship
2:50
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02
Underground Sun
3:57
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03
Museum Of Sex
4:00
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04
Belltown Ramble
6:15
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05
Ole! Tarantula
3:51
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06
(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs
5:34
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07
Red Locust Frenzy
3:00
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08
'Cause It's Love (Saint Parallelogram)
3:23
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09
The Authority Box
4:13
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10
N.Y. Doll
3:45
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 40:48

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Robyn does it again

blacklightpulse

Robyn Hitchcock is one of those artists that can not be stereotyped, pigeon-holed or fitted into any one category. The man just constantly morphs into whatever musical persona he chooses and always pulls it off brilliantly. He's one of the few truly original people out there in the music world and God bless him for not giving a damn about trends or critics. Ole tarantula is an absolute joy to listen to and I think the man is criminally underrated. Robyn has an uncanny knack for crafting some of the most fascinating music you're likely to hear. From catchy pop to bizarre experimental pieces, it all just works somehow. Plus, the man's got a great and twisted sense of humor which he effortlessly infuses into his work. This is a great bit of playful and infectious music from a truly eccentric and prolific songwriter. Bravo Robyn!

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One of the very best...

timabouttown

...in a looooong prolific career. I'm by no means an expert, and don't have anything to say about early, late, or what to expect relative to his other releases. I just know that he has a ton of stuff here at emu, and this is my favorite.

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Great joint

No-othersmuggla

The songs are melodic, there are lots of vocal harmonies, the lyrics are great. All the kid rockers are trying too hard to make bullshit epic albums. Give this one a spin dudes.

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Okay

ToasKokopelli

I love Robyn about 3/4 the time. This album sounds great, the band is top notch. But this is not a strong batch of songs. Outside of a few, it's mainly poor filler. I wouldn't recommend this as a place to start if you just getting into Robyn Hitchock, but for fans it's got enough going for it to make it worth adding to the collection. For latter day Robyn I would pick "Jewels for Sophia" as a better choice.

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Return to Form

Seamonkey

This is Robyn's best CD since Perspex Island. Unlike his last few CDs, this one has more of a band feel that reminds me of his days with the Egyptions. If you like his early CDs you will enjoy this one.

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Not Bad for a later effort...

The-Pole-Of-Justice

First, the good news: the last two tracks are killer. "The Authority Box" is a straightforward swipe at American politics, and the tribute to Arthur Kane ("NY Doll") is downright gorgeous. Hitchcock's never been immune to formula, however, and this is no exception. The title track is fairly pedestrian, the chorus consisting of the title and a simplistic harmonica riff. "Museum Of Sex" just doesn't have the wobbly punch that marks Hitchcock's best work (and, with that title, it's clearly trying.) That said, Hitchcock can't make a bad record (even his creative nadir, "Respect," has aged surprisingly well,) and considering how inexpensive this is as a download, there's no excuse not to grab this. He's still got it, he's just expanded on the filler a bit. If you go in expecting another "Element Of Light," you'll be disappointed. But if you go in with a laid back, not-expecting-to-see-God attitude, you'll get some goosebumps.

They Say All Music Guide

In 2004, Robyn Hitchcock’s loose and folky Spooked saw the insect- and crustacean-loving eccentric enlisting the unlikely help of NPR darlings David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. This time around he’s backed by “3/4s of the Minus 5 and half of R.E.M.” (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and Bill Rieflin) as well as ex-Soft Boys Kimberley Rew and Morris Windsor, Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, Harvey Danger’s Sean Nelson, and ex-President of the United States of America Chris Ballew. A small army indeed, but a tasteful one. Olé! Tarantula sounds like a trip back to the iconic singer/songwriter’s early A&M days. Long, Byrds-inspired harmonies, jangly electric guitars, and random bursts of piano, harmonica, and saxophone pepper the collection in fits, seasoning Hitchcock’s already delicious wordplay with exactly the right amount of spice. Opener “Adventure Rocket Ship” sounds like a lost track from Underwater Moonlight, the kind of confident psychedelic rocker that used to spill from the anti-bard’s leafy pen like battery acid in the early to mid-’80s. That confidence coupled with the tight, road-ready band vibe permeates Tarantula’s swollen belly, allowing only one or two forays into the esoteric balladry that has become the norm for the artist’s post-Egyptians catalog. With the jaunty “‘Cause It’s Love (Saint Parallelogram),” co-written by XTC’s Andy Partridge, the creepy and dissonant “Red Locust Frenzy,” and the impossibly ridiculous title cut, the former “Man with the Light Bulb Head” has distilled the best of each of his eras into one big shambling creature. Lyrically, he’s still obsessed with crabs, eggs, tomatoes, and things that are fleshy, furry, and spindly, but his greatest strength has always been his ability to toss a clear nugget of profundity into his most surrealist rants. In the warm, weird, and nostalgic “Belltown Ramble,” he manages to rope an Uzbek warlord, email and R.E.M. into a motor-mouthed stroll through town and time that’s bolstered by the wisdom that “It’s an independent life/And you want to see your eyes/Reflected in the world” and the notion that “The burning train is back in your hometown.” It’s that perfect balance of sadness, vitriol, and absurdity that makes Hitchcock (when he’s on) such a legendary social commentator. He’s the jester, the king, the convict, and the executioner all wrapped up into one. – James Christopher Monger

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