*** Robyn Hitchcock, "Jewels for Sophia," Warner Bros. Hitchcock is a wise-guy surrealist. His obsessions with the Beatles, sex, death and pop culture haven't always come together into a satisfying musical whole, but "Jewels for Sophia" is his richest, most polished volume yet. He sings here of dark princesses, cheese alarm clocks and Gene Hackman in a voice that is crisp and reedy, fittingly Lennon-esque. Strange, whimsical and memorable. Hitchcock will be at the Palace with the Flaming Lips on Aug. 1.
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).