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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Side Ruth is not as good as Side Richard, 30 April 2003
Well this is Robert's third album and it's true it's not as haunting and beautiful as Rock Bottom. There are a few dull jazzy jams to fill side Ruth - Yes, Side A was called Ruth and Side B was called Side Richard. This is lost on the CD of course. Anyway, you must hear at least once the strange humour of Soup Song where Robert sings he is an ingredient in a bowl of soup! Side Richard is fantastic and totally worthy of the genius of Wyatt. It's made of a sequence of interludes called 'Muddy Mouse ', co-written with Fred Frith, that keep coming in between songs with different lyrics each time. the last Muddy Mouse turns into Muddy Mouth in typical Wyatt slip and the album finishes leaving you wanting to listen again and again to this exquisite little mouse.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and haunting, but full of fun., 7 May 2014
Ruth is Stranger than Richard is Wyatt's official second solo album after Rock Bottom, and again serves up a fantastic and appetizing feast of musical soup.
The Richard side is typified by a series of musical poems about boy scouts and brownies entitled Muddy Mouse. These are at once funny and disconcerting. Robert's frail alto voice is simply accompanied by piano on these pieces. The third Muddy Mouse piece segues into Muddy Mouth, which is a beautiful example of the ease at which Robert users his voice as an instrument. Solar Flares another example, comparable with an alto sax or muted trumpet.
Side Ruth opens with the hilarious Soup Song, in which Robert imagines himself as an ingredient in a bowl of soup, featuring the lyrics " there's a mushroom on my eyelid, there's a carrot down my back". There's more jazz with Sonia and yet another song, Team Spirit, where Robert imagines himself as an inanimate object, this time a football! The album ends jazz style with Song for Che, but no review of a Robert Wyatt album would be complete without a mention of Alfie's cute and funny illustrations which line the CD cover.
Don't buy this if you expect music that follows rules and is mainstream radio material. Wyatt is an acquired taste, but one very much worth acquiring for the vast wealth of music he has created himself in line with his own inner visions.
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