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Clip: Robert Wyatt

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  • Carl Zimring
    Haven t heard much about this album yet (or heard it), other than this review. From ePulse: ART ROCK ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Someday, when his biography is
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2004
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      Haven't heard much about this album yet (or heard it), other than this
      review. From ePulse:

      ART ROCK ALBUM OF THE WEEK:

      Someday, when his biography is written, his career summed up on some BBC
      special, the pioneer of British progressive/art rock, ROBERT WYATT, will be
      seen to have been several things: a brilliant musician, composer and
      jazz-spirited drummer (first as co-founder of the original and best Soft
      Machine, ca. 1967-70, and as such the creator of some of the only surviving
      slabs of jazz-rock that will stand the test of time); one of the quirkiest
      songwriters of the century (hear Wyatt's dependably odd
      dada-meets-nursery-rhyme wordplay on his early solo records, particularly
      1975's 'Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard' and the more recent 'Dondestan'),
      and the creator of the exalted 'Rock Bottom,' a unique mid-1970s
      masterpiece of Wodehouse-Nashian babble passionately croaked by that unique
      throat and bathed in lush seas of reverberating trumpets, understated
      electric keyboard drones and tintinabulating cymbalism. He is an all too
      rare example of British eccentricity in a music that you would think would
      welcome more of it, and it seems self-evident that Wyatt's unabashedly
      Cockney-esque accint has kept his gorgeous, lush music from catching fire
      with 'Murricans (a pity, that). But savorers of the Robert Wyatt cult will
      love 'CUCKOOLAND' (Hannibal/Rykodisc, 5 stars), a candy box of delicious
      tunes that artfully drift from domestic chat-chat and griping (who's
      ribbing who? on the powerful "Lullaloop": "Hold on, can't walk faster,
      can't get up the hill / Oy! You! Wait for me, I'm out of breath, I'm ill")
      to political plaints like "Lullaby for Hamza" ("The world is dark again / I
      need your lullaby"), a typically lush piece of guitar-free Wyatt
      orchestration "inspired" by the bombing of Baghdad; here's a rare example
      of political art that's still great art. Thus if 'Cuckooland,' rather
      seriously, refers to both the inner and outer worlds, some of the best
      pieces drift seductively off into voluptuous dreams, as we hear Wyatt's
      droning keyboard carry him away, ironically, at the beginning ("Just A
      Bit"): "And I know that (I must admit it) / touching wood is just a bit
      ma-a-a-a-a-a-ad ..." (By TONY MOSTROM)
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