Some of Robyn Hitchcock's best work in his career has been on his solo acoustic albums. It therefore comes as no surprise that Luxor is on par with both Eye and the classic I Often Dream of Trains, although it is a bit darker in tone than either of those discs. This collection offers more examples of Hitchcock's winning mix of silly and sublime lyrics backed with exotically tuned acoustic guitars. Numbers such as "The Sound of Sound," "Round Song," and "One L" are familiar and fresh all at once, as Hitchcock subtly rewrites variations of his own catalog. There is not only a strong sense of his own musical past evident, but also the past of pop music in general; sort of like a musical tea party with the ghosts of Syd Barrett, John Lennon, and Bob Dylan as the special guests. Once again, Hitchcock's amazing virtuosity on the guitar is highlighted with two instrumentals, including the title track, which is reminiscent of "The End," "Calvary Cross," and "White Summer." Hitchcock's tunefulness and playing have never really been in question, but the one nagging perplexity of his work that has perhaps kept him from greater fame has been his reputation for self-consciously bizarre lyrics. This aspect has been exaggerated to a great extent but there can sometimes be jarring juxtapositions inherent in some of his imagery. Hitchcock's vision has always included allusions to sex, death, vegetables, and small creatures, but to his credit he's never let that undermine his humanistic and hopeful side. But what do you make of an artist who sings "death is all around us like a swarm of bees, or maybe flies" and "everyone is fading gradually" in one breath, and then "I am not a yam!" and "I'll have your babies if you'll have my cold" in the next one? It's akin to a philosophy professor who intermittently giggles to bring levity to some heavy theory. No matter, for Hitchcock is aging gracefully and still maturing artistically. Luxor is a minor gem in a catalog studded with jewels.