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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 May 2016
I was vaguely aware of Robert Wyatt's music, and knew I should sample some- so I chanced upon this one night on You-Tube - and I was blown away by it! It reminds me of many things, early 70s Floyd, Miles Davis during his Bitches Brew phase, Bowie in Berlin, but all the time underpinned by Wyatt's unique vocals and 'spin' on how a track should be orchestrated and presented. It has the feel of an elaborate home demo (which I love) with some lovely jazz accents - I'm also sure that elements of this album influenced Pink Floyd's Animals......
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on 7 December 2014
This is one of those albums I bought for it's reputation alone. I'd previously heard how unique it was meant to sound and have heard nothing but praise for the music so I bought it with high expectations. My only previous venture into the music of Robert Wyatt had been owning the Soft Machine album 'Third'; an album I really like but find exceedingly difficult listening when not in the right mood.

I have to admit of the first few listens I really didn't know what to make of this album. It somehow managed to sound like a complete mess while also sounding interesting and highly musical. Some tracks 'clicked' quicker than others, but none of the six tracks were instantly likeable with the possible exception of the opening track. For some reason revisiting 'Third' may have put things in perspective for me although I'm not sure why. I however found myself loving the music of this album. It is of course, highly experimental with all sorts of instruments playing over each other in a strange style that I can only really liken to 'In the Aeroplane over the Sea' by Neutral Milk Hotel. The album as a whole has a very reflective mood that borders between psychedelia, folk/rock and jazz. The flow of the album is slow and melodies will come and go, often appearing and disappearing within a single track to be lost among strange instrumental sections. The tracks however really compliment each other and because of this it is best to listen to this album in a complete sitting (preferably late evening!).

Overall, this is a highly rewarding experience, but it did take several listens to appreciate. If I could liken it to any modern day music (which I can't to be honest) I'd say it sounds a little like Tim Bowness (at his most experimental) and King Creosote & Jon Hopkins 'Diamond Mine'.
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on 6 September 2008
This is exquisite, beautiful, uncategorizable music, as fresh and original now as the day it was recorded, 35 or so years ago. How much music from that era can that truly be said of? I knew and loved this album when it first came out, but at some point the actual LP passed from my hands (can't remember how) and, I'm now ashamed to admit, I completely forgot about it! Being currently engaged on a mission to "revisit all the music I used to own and love", I was exploring early Soft Machine again (that's another whole subject) and came across a reference to this album. Or, to be precise, to the track "Sea Song". Although I hadn't heard it probably for 30 years, memories of the loveliness of that track came drifting back to me and I bought the album. It's as good as it ever was. In fact, it's probably even better now, because I've been listening to music for 35 more years than when I first heard this, years in which I've listened to and loved music from house to hip-hop, funk to fusion, ethnic to early, classical to club, you name it - and this is still completely original. And experimental. And beautiful. Let go of all the musical categories we carry around in our minds (it simply won't fit any of them) and just listen ... Whether it's the utterly unguarded, wordless vocal improvisation at the end of "Sea Song", the sweet lyrics of "Last Straw", the joyous multi-tracked trumpet on "Red Riding Hood", the mellifluous guitar solo on "Alifib", the ferocious, freeform sax on "Alife", or Ivor Cutler's acute, funny solidarity-with-the-hedgehog rap on "Red Robin Hood" (those are my personal favourites), or any of the other multifarious delights on this album, there will be something here that stops you in your tracks and elicits sheer admiration. A brilliant album.
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on 18 July 2012
This is the best thing Robert ever did as a solo artist. It sounds good, feels wonderful, is touching and human. One cannot explain this, nor reason about it. Don't ask me to classify the music: it's not jazz, not pop, not folk, it's Robert Wyatt. Just listen to the mp3 samples and I hope it awakes your interest. It may take some time before you fully appreciate the music. That being said I would like to comment on some criticisms you can read elsewhere. One reviewer says: '... probably cannot make traditional music.'. Does it really matter? However, listening to some covers he made (e.g. Shipbuilding) does not seem to confirm this suggestion. Free jazz players get the same kind of remarks. But most of them know very well how to play according to the rules that they chose to reject. When he was with Soft Machine, Robert was among other things, influenced by free jazz and dadaism. Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition. If you have a problem with the lyrics and find them absurd, think about this. I believe it is one of the ingredients that makes this music what it is. A well known classical musician once said to me, explaining why he played so well: 'Don't take yourself too seriously'. Select a simple tune, e.g. lullaby, and give it to Robert. When he likes it, he will add colours, change some details and make something unique and beautiful out of it. That's what makes him an artist.
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on 10 September 2015
Not quite as good as I expected. Think the last track was particularly poor.
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on 3 August 2009
...a disappointing lack of bonus tracks.

Released almost simultaneously with the LP in 1974 were Wyatt's fantastic singles I'm A Believer and Yesterday Man, deconstructed 60s masterpieces. With their b-sides, the 4 tracks would have fit well on this reissue. Oh well.
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on 19 January 2015
Just revisiting the past. Robert Wyatt is a genius.
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on 29 September 2015
So different - great.
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on 26 June 2016
Interesting
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on 12 April 2016
good stuff
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