CD Jewels for Sophia  (CD 620609),
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Jewels for Sophia 
1. Mexican God
2. Cheese Alarm, The
3. Viva! Sea-Tac
4. I Feel Beautiful
5. You've Got a Sweet Mouth on You, Baby
6. NASA Clapping
7. Sally Was a Legend
9. Elizabeth Jade
10. No, I Don't Remember Guildford
11. Dark Princess
12. Jewels for Sophia
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 47433
Personnel: Robyn Hitchcock (vocals, acoustic, electric & slide guitar, harmonica, piano, bass, handclaps); Jon Brion (vocals, organ, Chamberlin, marimba, bass, drums, percussion); Tim Keegan (acoustic & electric guitar, piano, shaker, background vocals); Kimberly Rew (electric & slide guitar, background vocals); Peter Buck (electric 12-string guitar); James Fletcher (saxophone); Kurt Bloch (organ, handclaps, percussion); Scott McCaughey (bass, handclaps); Grant Lee Phillips (bass, background vocals); John Fell, Jake Kyle (bass); Tad Hutchison (drums, percussion, handclaps); Rob Alum, Patrick Hannan (drums); Aloke Dutta (tablas).
Producers: Robyn Hitchcock, Jon Brion, Pete Gerrald, Charlie Francis, Pat Collier.
Engineers include: Jon Brion, Charlie Francis, Ethan Johns.
Personnel: Robyn Hitchcock (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, piano, hand claps, background vocals); Jon Brion (vocals, organ, chamberlin, drums, percussion); Tim Keegan (guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, shaker, background vocals); Kimberley Rew (guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar); Peter Buck (electric 12-string guitar); James Fletcher (saxophone); Kurt Bloch (organ, hand claps, percussion); Tad Hutchinson (drums, hand claps, percussion); Rob Allum, Tad Hutchison, Patrick Hannan (drums); Scott McCaughey (hand claps).
Audio Mixers: Ethan Johns; Charlie Francis.
Liner Note Author: Scott Schinder.
Recording information: Hanszek Studios, Seattle, WA; Jon Brion's House; London, England; Milo Studios, London, England; Ocean Way, Los Angeles, CA.
Illustrator: Robyn Hitchcock.
Photographer: Freddy Sanjar.
After the acoustic MOSS ELIXIR and STOREFRONT HITCHCOCK, Robyn Hitchcock returns with a full rock band. JEWELS FOR SOPHIA was recorded in Los Angeles, Seattle, and London, with different personnel in each locale. Players include Peter Buck, The Young Fresh Fellows, Tim Keegan, Grant Lee Phillips, and Kimberley Rew (who has not worked with Hitchcock since 17 years prior). The different settings and approaches make for a stunning and well-balanced whole.
From the rocking Seattle anthem "Viva! Sea-Tac" to the gorgeous balladry of "I Feel Beautiful" (with marimba and hammered dulcimer), the album is a wonderful journey that touches on all of Hitchcock's well-established strengths. Curious poetics turns of phrase abound. JEWELS FOR SOPHIA is a highpoint in Robyn Hitchcock's always bracing output. Anyone unfamiliar with this unique artist would be doing well to start here or with his UNCORRECTED PERSONALITY TRAITS collection.
Rolling Stone (9/2/99, p.112) - 3 1/2 stars (out of 5) - "...[Hitchcock] rocks more fervently than he has on any solo release since the early Eighties....[JEWELS] proves that he doesn't need audacious wordplay to write a memorable song....It's the sound of Hitchcock mastering a new emotional language: sincerity."
Spin (10/99, p.153) - 8 out of 10 - "...offers 12 such exuberant sing-alongs, some of which dwell on mortal decay....Reconciled with life's inevitable disaster, [Hitchcock's] determined to have a grand time until his expiration is up."
Entertainment Weekly (7/23/99, p.69) - "...alternating oddball pastoralism with shagg-blues-rock....As he ponders love, hate, aging, and memory, it's tough to mistake Hitchcock's absurdity for mere comedy: Even the song praising cheese is poignant." - Rating: B+
Q (10/99, p.120) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...seemingly personal tunes...rub shoulders with songs whose lyrics couldn't be fathomed by men in diving suits....Contains two hilarious hidden tracks other songwriters would kill for."
Alternative Press (10/99, p.95) - 4 out of 5 - "...a great record, maybe Hitchcock's best in a decade. The feel is loose but never sloppy; rough but never ragged....still utterly crazy after all these years, and still loving every moment of it. And so should you."
CMJ (7/19/99, p.3) - "...[JEWELS] is filled with so many twisted lyrical and musical nuances that attempting to understand Hitchcock's riotous lunacy is futile - it's also the best part of the ride..."
Mojo (Publisher) (10/99, p.125) - "...Throughout a sensitively produced, ceaselessly inventive album Hitchcock balances the stings, the honey and the bumbling comedy of life and love....Maybe his best set yet."
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Warner Bros. 9362474332
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