"After several fine folky acoustic outings, Robyn Hitchcock comes rarin' back with a collection of catchy, electric-guitar based pop/rock. If you're a fan of his work with the Soft Boys and Egyptians, you should check this out. Lyrically and melodically, the songs are as good as those he's ever written, with their blend of fun nonsense and existential melancholy. The band arrangements are whipsmart and hooky. Another stength is the album's sequencing, which flows nicely from start to finish, with nary a clunker or drag.
My only complaint is that the label Yep Roc's packaging is skimpy--no booklet with photos or lyrics, just the 2-panel digipak. For that reason, those who favor downloads might as well buy it from i-Tunes. Myself, as a CD collector, still opt for the physical artifact, but if you download this rather than buy the CD, you're not missing much. (Contrast, for instance, Yep Roc's packaging with Rhino's Robyn Hitchcock reissues in the 90's, which boasted lavish booklets filled with text and photos.) "
Ryan Clark | PA | 11/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another masterpiece of warped genius from the mind of Robyn Hitchcock, the most original singer/songwriter of our time. Ole! Tarantula is a wonderful throwback to Hitchcock's years as the lead singer of Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians. Here he is joined by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and R.E.M. session musicians Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin, and the result of their union is nothing short of mesmerizing. Ole! Tarantula features Hitchcock's trademark wacky (and often hilarious) lyrics with a hard rock sound different from his recent solo efforts. Although the entire album is consistent in quality, the standout tracks here are "Museum of Sex", the title track "Ole! Tarantula", "(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs", "The Authority Box", and "N.Y. Doll". Highly recommended to fans of Robyn, old and new."
Definitely in the Top 10 Best releases of 2006
wm | ...onward....thru the fog! | 12/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
Hitchcock has been playing much of the material on this album live for a few years now. Reviewers seem to compare it to some of his older releases, but it seems to me many of the songs are in the same batch of songs written for what ultimately became the Soft Boys' "Nextdoorland".
He's always been a Beatles fan as well as a fan of the jingle jangle sound of the Byrds. These influences blend nicely On Olé!. The album has a great mix of acoustic driven songs complemented by some great twin guitar jammy songs.
Peter Buck of REM fame has showed up to play bass and 12 string time and again on Robyn's records in the last 20 years or so. On Olé!, he doesn't just make a cameo, but is part of the band. It's really quite a thrill to see musicians of this caliber playing small clubs. It's proof that they're not doing it for the money (at least not in Buck's case); their chemistry in the studio and on stage prove that they're in it for the love of the music.
I can't think of another musician who better embodies the Jungian axiom that the artist serves as a vessel of creativity and represents society's collective consciousness. Hitchcock releases his dream imagery for the rest of us to interpret.
As with anyone's dreams, the dreamer often doesn't know the meaning of a dream until weeks, months, or years later. I'm sure in Hitchcock's case, he is just as puzzled about meaning of his art as are his fans.
So listen carefully to the dreams Hitchcock is sharing with us. As with our own dreams, sometimes the seemingly nonsensical fragments reveal themselves and become powerful symbols in our daily lives, and other times, well, they remain dream fragments, but are no less powerful."
M. Muhsin | NJ | 12/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a classic!.... every single track on this album is a great song... OLE Tarantula is a great catchy track.... you can't listen to NY Doll without welling up.... the rest of the album is fantastic... saw Robyn twice while he was promoting this album, and both times he was great...."