3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Between a rock and a hard place,
This review is from: Rock Bottom (Audio CD)
Having now reached a certain age i've recently been listening to albums that i missed first time around and which are now generally considered as 'classics'.
I was aware of Robert Wyatt back in his Soft Machine days, although i always considered the band too "jazzy" for my tastes at that time, but i did like his forays into more mainstream music with singles such as 'I'm a believer' and 'Shipbuilding', the latter being an all time favourite of mine.
I came to this album with some trepidation but was determined to give it a fair trial and have listened to it on numerous occasions and in many different environs e.g in the car, on headphones, in bed and just quietly sitting.
You can see (hear) why some people find it a difficult proposition as it has relatively little structure and with the off kilter singing/playing it just makes it a truly unique/weird experience (depending upon your point of view?).
Is it jazz, experimental, avant-garde (maybe all three) but it's certainly never boring.
I'd heard 'sea song' before when done by The Unthanks and it's probably the most accessible song on the album, or maybe my familiarity makes it so.
There were other bits i liked too e.g the cute piano ending on 'a last straw' and the almost prog-like opening on the second 'little red robin hood hit the road' but i found the overwhelming free jazz (or however it's defined) feel which imbued the rest of the album just too much for me.
Is it a classic or just the emperors new clothes, i don't honestly know, but i am glad i (eventually) heard it but it's not an album i'd want to return to again.