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Robert Wyatt - Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard CD (album) cover


Robert Wyatt


Canterbury Scene

3.48 | 113 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A disappointing release from Robert Wyatt - how was he ever going to match the glorious ROCK BOTTOM? The tunes featuring wind instruments are O.K., but the whole sorry 'Muddy Mouse / Muddy Mouth' saga, four separate pieces featuring nothing but vocals and piano (to my relief totalling no more than eight minutes), well, they're are immensely irritating. Their melodies have always got on my nerves, their lyrics are incomprehensible, they just seem a waste of natural resources!

Thank 'eaven for so-called SIDE RUTH. 'Soup Song' is delightful, in the first place because of those extraordinary lyrics: 'There's a mushroom on my eyelid, / there's a carrot down my back, / I can see in the distance a vast quantity of beans...' In fact, all pieces featuring clarinettist /saxophonist Gary Windo (i.e. the larger part of this album) are worth hearing. The jolly singalong 'Team Spirit' was written from the perspective of a football out on the pitch, and 'Song for Che' is a beautifully elegiac hymn to one of Wyatt's personal heroes.

I can't make up my mind if the relative pleasures of SIDE RUTH (as well as the pleasantly floating 'Solar Flares' and the Offenbach-inspired 'Five Black Notes and One White Note') really make up for the album's irritations. If you're a Wyatt nut, you've got to own this. If not, start somewhere else.

fuxi | 2/5 |


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