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Robert Wyatt - Shleep CD (album) cover

SHLEEP

Robert Wyatt

 

Canterbury Scene

3.79 | 82 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
5 stars SHLEEP may sound less avant-garde than ROCK BOTTOM (and far less sad; it's Wyatt's most upbeat album) but so what? As a collection of songs, it works equally well, perhaps better. Right from the beginning (with the Eno-like "Heaps of Sheeps") we find ourselves in the special kind of dreamworld only Robert Wyatt can evoke. "The Duchess" is a sly, very Canterbury-esque update of a traditional nursery rhyme, and "Maryan" (based on a gorgeous tune by Philip Catherine, who also plays guitar) might just be the most heart-melting melody Wyatt ever sang. In "Free will and testament" Wyatt surprises us with philosophical ruminations on the nature of, erm, Free Will. On "September the Ninth" and "Out of Season" he collaborates with some of Britain's most admired jazz musicians: Annie Whitehead on trombone and Evan Parker on sax. "Blues in Bob Minor" is a gorgeous update of Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues", with rocking guitar by Paul Weller. The tracks I haven't mentioned are also far above average, and all the lyrics (some of which were written by Wyatt's partner, Alfreda Benge) are intelligent and classy. Only a small elite of rock musicians who started out in the 1960s came up with an album as daring and refreshing as this in the 1990s. A masterpiece, beyond any doubt.
fuxi | 5/5 |

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