Album: Perspex Island
. . .
After the acousticy detour of Eye, Robyn Hitchcock came back in 1991 with Perspex Island, his fifth studio album with The Egyptians, which had a bigger and glossier sound as compared to his previous albums. I mean, as compared to: it still wasn’t a patch on some of the bigger productions of the year: your Guns ‘n’ Roses or or your U2s or even your R.E.M.s.
The R.E.M.s, of course, were once again helping Robyn out. Well, mostly Peter Buck, who is all over the album, including the the first single, the crazy-catchy “So You Think You’re In Love,” a song that went all the way back to the Soft Boys days.
So you think you’re in love
Yes, you probably are
But you wanna be straight about it
Oh, you wanna be straight about it now
Taking his own advice, “So You Think You’re In Love” is one of his most straightforward lyrics. In fact, the weirdest thing about it was that it asked a question but didn’t have a question mark in the title. And because it boasted a pretty great hook — though not quite as great as “Chinese Bones” and “Madonna of The Wasps” — it was perhaps Robyn’s best shot at some kind of hit single, especially considering the way the tide was turning in 1991.
Said hook, of course, was Robyn’s straining to hold the long note on “loooooooooooove”, which was accented by the usual backing “ahhs” by Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe and, of course, Peter Buck’s reliable jangle.
What is love made of?
What are you afraid of?
But, of course, even with the bigger sound and the perfect pop “yeah” at the end, “So You Think You’re In Love” got some decent alt-radio airplay and 120 Minutes but, of course, came nowhere near breaking Robyn Hitchcock in America. And that was pretty much it: while Robyn Hitchcock continued to write great songs, and catchy songs, I don’t think he ever again released a single that was so catchy and radio-friendly at the same time.
“So You Think You’re In Love” Official Video
“So You Think You’re In Love” live on Late Night w/ David Letterman, 1991
“So You Think You’re in Love” acoustic live in Atlanta, 1991
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