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Comicopera, Robert Wyatt

Robert Wyatt, formerly of the influential British art rock band The Soft Machine, has spent his career on the margins. While he has a devoted (if somewhat small) following, his music has been too esoteric to make much of a dent in the mainstream. His most recent record, Comicopera, which features such stellar friends as Brian Eno on keyboards and guitarists Paul Weller and Phil Manzanera, won't do much to change that. It is a strange, stylistically diverse and beautiful record. Wyatt sings in a gentle, melancholy voice. The music that begins Comicopera is, lush and warm, like his duet with Monica Vasconcelos on "Just as you are," or the stunning "Stay tuned" and the striking chamber pop of "You You." As the record progresses this beauty is met with discord and things get both lyrically and sonically darker. The final third of this record moves as far from that pop sound as possible, with two tracks in Spanish, another in Italian, and a solo improvisation from jazz vibraphonist Orphy Robinson. This is heady stuff that one needs to sit with for a while to fully appreciate. The great achievement of this record is that its complexity doesn't overwhelm its overarching beauty.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on January 8, 2008 5:23 PM.

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