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Comicopera [CD]

Robert Wyatt Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 10.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Biography

Robert Wyatt is a rare bird. His remarkable career began forty years ago drumming and singing for Soft Machine, a post-psych outfit tied to the “Canterbury Scene” of the late ‘60s that yielded Pink Floyd & Gong among others. His ensuing and far longer solo period speaks volumes
of Wyatt’s value and endurance as an ... Read more in Amazon's Robert Wyatt Store

Visit Amazon's Robert Wyatt Store
for 44 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Comicopera + Rock Bottom + Shleep [VINYL]
Price For All Three: 37.91

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  • Rock Bottom 11.85
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Oct 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B000S9KSH8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,903 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Stay Tuned
2. Just As You Are
3. You You
4. A.W.O.L
5. Anachronist
6. A Beautiful Place
7. Be Serious
8. On The Town Square
9. Mob Rule
10. A Beautiful War
11. Out of the Blue
12. Del Mondo
13. Cancion De Julieta
14. Pastafari
15. Fragment
16. Hasta Siempre Comandante

Product Description

BBC Review

Three years on from Cuckooland, Comicopera is just that: A tragicomedy split into three parts dealing with matters domestic, political and spiritual. Robert Wyatt is a man who we've come to expect to behave like an 'institution', if only by dint of the fact that he's now been turning out brilliant work virtually undiminished since the late 60s (including his amazing work as Soft Machine's drummer). Thus, it seems like a rude awakening that the first third of this album concerns itself with a story of domestic strife that mirrors his own recent battle with alcoholism.

But then you realise that it's a story told by the other - now inextricable - half of Team Wyatt - his partner, Alfreda Benge. With all the honesty, modesty and candour that's made Robert and Alfie such enduring treasures in an increasingly vapid musical landscape, they fearlessly chronicle the foibles that nearly tore them apart. The key text here is the duet with Karen Mantler about the pitfalls of long-term partnership on 'Just As You Are'.

Wyatt himself would be the first to admit to a fondness for pop in its purest form, and so it is that Comicopera is dotted with some quite exquisite tunes. It's a more jazz-inflected offering than the previous album which eschewed the lo-fi vibe that really suits his delivery. Just listen to him muttering about flattened roadkill on the beginning of 'A Beautiful Peace'!

Comicopera still retains the loping, swing-inflected forms that never bludgeon you with polemic or too much structure but gently entice you in to a parallel world where Wyatt's voice - often approaching the sound of an interior monologue - makes you feel right at home. As such the album's politicised middle section - Here And Now - becomes doubly effective as thought-provoking material. It addresses issues such as theological uncertainty ('Be Serious') or the two sides of a middle Eastern bombing raid with 'A Beautiful War' and 'Out Of The Blue' which disarmingly describes the devastation wrought with the line 'something unbelievable is happening to the floor'.

Aided by the usual suspects like Eno (creepy vocals on 'Out Of The Blue'), Phil Manzanera, Paul Weller and saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, Comicopera only dips slightly in its last third - Away With The Fairies - where with having spent all his bile in English, he continues entirely in Spanish. The songs remain as delicately effecting, though Lorca's poetry (on 'Cancion De Julieta') may be wasted on English ears. But no matter; it's still an album of this or any other year. --Chris Jones

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Product Description

CD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally Original 23 Oct 2007
By The Soft Machine Operator TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'm unable to classify Robert Wyatt - it's jazzy, poppy, mellow and all sung with those wonderful vocals. With contributions from first class musicians like Brian Eno & Gilad Atzmon, the music floats and shimmers, but never gets dull and never gets repetitive. The sparse lyrics are intruiging.

A true original.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mixed (not patchy), wacky and brilliant 26 Jan 2012
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Some reviewers here don't get this CD and OK it is not at all commercial. But it is brilliant. It is an album of real variety and doesn't hold together in the way that most alternative albums do but nearly every song is effective and more than one or two are seriously powerful. The pairing of A Beautiful War and Out Of The Blue about two thirds of the way through is devastating and represents a most powerful and imaginative musical political comment on the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and on being on the receiving end of war in general. All very vivid and fresh with not a cliche in sight. This music is refreshingly real.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
and this is no exception! i was sad to see that some-one had posted a 3-star review before it's been released, so i thought i'd write telling people not to panic

i'm listening to this album as i write, and it's nearly over and i can honestly say it's been very enjoyable. any-one who's listened to robert's music will know it quite hard to talk about as the music is so original and different...but you should certainly expect the unexpected, as with most wyatt albums!

To get to the point thought, certainly an album worth buying if your a robert wyatt fan, a welcome refreshment to the commercial annoyance's i'm used to hearing when i turn on the radio!
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14 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By C. O'Brien VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Robert Wyatt has always been a bit of an oddity. Born English but always a globetrotter, he was the singing drummer for late sixties prog-rockers Soft Machine. After falling out of a window and rendering himself paraplegic, he concentrated on a politically-orientated solo career, gaining particular praise for his melancholy cover of Elvis Costello's Falklands War anthem, Shipbuilding.

Comicopera is his first album for Arctic Monkeys label Domino, and it's a strange, sprawling affair. Split into three "acts" named "Lost in Noise", "A Beautiful Peace" and "Away With the Fairies", it contains music as weird as you'd expect from this long-time maverick.

Some of the best moments are whimsically English: the delightful trumpet-and-bass led AWOL tells a Syd Barrett-esque kind of story in whirling 6/8 time ("the tick and the tock of the damnable clock....waving at trains that no longer run"). The engagingly amateurish A Beautiful War and the wheezy Mob Rule, though they last barely over two minutes each, have ample time to cast their weird little spells. Other songs involve contributions from his wife Alfreda Benge, notable imagineer Brian Eno, his ex-Roxy Music cohort Phil Manzanera and from Paul Weller.

Act 3 contains several fairly endless Latin-flavoured wigouts that may provide a bit of sunshine but ultimately tend towards the tedious - especially the seven-and-a-half-minute Cancion de Julieta and the desperately dull percussion-led Pastafari.

Wyatt himself says the album is about "human foibles" - and that's probably the best way to describe its musical content. Odd but interesting.

first published at subba-cultcha.com
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