Music Review: Goodnight Oslo

Robyn Hitchcock’s second album with the Venus 3 riffs on Dylan, R&B, and the Byrds.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The psychedelic troubadour and erstwhile Soft Boys leader is enjoying a remarkable artistic renaissance after three decades in action. On his second album with the Venus 3, which includes R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, Hitchcock incorporates elements of Dylan, the Byrds, and Syd Barrett into his surrealistic scenarios, and embraces textural and lyrical simplicity without dulling his bittersweet edge. Adding a surprising dose of R&B, Goodnight Oslo offers typically sly meditations on mortality, identity, and other big subjects, among them the sunny “Saturday Groovers,” a seemingly mellow nostalgic romp that finds him musing uneasily, “Did we ever get it together?”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest