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Picks and Pans Review: Globe of Frogs

updated 04/11/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/11/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians

One listen to this British rocker's quirky new record and you might think he was one of those strange kids in school who would stare out the window all day and escape into some fantasy life. A sampling of his lyrics is evidence of his curious imagination: "In an adoring pose/ He shriveled up and died/ Until his bones were stems/ Upon the grass they died...To slither is sublime." While his flair for juxtaposing odd phrases can be disarming, it is Hitchcock's music that proves most engaging. He is an encyclopedia of post-1960 pop music, recalling the early sound of the Kinks and other British invasion heavies on the delightful Balloon Man, or borrowing from the old Split Enz on Vibrating. While the title track might be too derivative of John Lennon, Hitchcock's organic imagery is his own: "And when she waters (the flowers)/ They glow and smirk and smile in their beds/ And in a globe of frogs/ They're making love and moving on." His streams-of-consciousness biology lessons are beyond interpretation. But the 34-year-old guitarist has as much fun with the music as he does with his unusual turns of phrase—and with talents like R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook sitting in, Hitchcock has created a lively, if bizarre, record. (A & M)

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