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Robert Wyatt - Comicopera CD (album) cover

COMICOPERA

Robert Wyatt

 

Canterbury Scene

3.81 | 68 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Comicopera" is the 8th full-length studio album by UK progressive/experimental rock artist Robert Wyatt. The album was released through Domino Records (his first on the label) in October 2007. It┤s been four years since the release of Robert Wyatt┤s last album "Cuckooland (2003)". An album featuring a sombre and ▄ber melancholic mood. while "Cuckooland (2003)" lacked Robert Wyatt┤s usual humourous element, something which is an important ingredient on almost all of his releases, it was an album that won on other parameters. "Comicopera" definitely features it┤s share of melancholy, but this time around the mood is a bit more varied.

The music on Comicopera" are generally melancholic and slightly jazzy pop/rock with progressive leanings. Robert Wyatt┤s fragile and distinct voice is as usual the center of attention although there are several interesting instrumental parts on the album too. There are many guests musicians on the album and in addition to Robert Wyatt┤s piano, percussion, trumpet, cornet, keyboards and vocals we are graced with instruments like trombone, bass violin, clarinet, saxophone, guitar and drums as well as some female vocals. The guest list counts among others prolific artists like Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera.

The album is divided into three parts, or acts as it says on the sleeve, but I┤m not sure I see a concept. "Cuckooland" was divided into two parts without a clear concept so maybe Robert Wyatt just likes to divide his albums into parts. If you own the double LP version it does make some sense though as the three acts each make up a side while the fourth side contains no music and has a poem etched into its surface. Robert Wyatt sings in both English and as a new thing also a couple of songs in Italian. Tracks like the opening "Stay Tuned", the duet love song "Just As You Are" and the sombre and beautiful "Cancion de Julieta" are high quality tracks that stand out as some of the highlights on "Comicopera" but not all tracks on the album are equally as interesting. To my ears the two instrumentals "On The Town Square" and "Pastafari" are the least interesting compositions on an otherwise strong release. The former features a kind of Caribbean mood that doesn┤t gel well with the rest of the material while the latter sound like directionless noodling to my ears. The good far outweighs the bad on the album though.

The sound production is excellent, but that┤s no surprise if you are familiar with the high quality productions on most of Robert Wyatt┤s output. Taking all things into consideration "Comicopera" is another great release by Robert Wyatt. It doesn┤t quite reach the excellence of it┤s predecessor, but still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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