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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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3 stars After really enjoying the previous album I just couldn't believe that Robert Wyatt wouldn't be able to release a few more performances like the one on Rock Bottom. I began my journey by exploring the follow-up album Ruth is Stranger Than Richard that was released only a year later.

Even though this album features the same Robert Wyatt vocals and keyboard arrangements Ruth is Stranger Than Richard is far from the continuation of Rock Bottom-style that I expected it to be. It's not so much the compositions but instead the overall tone that has shifted from the moody and atmospheric to cheerful and relaxed. Simply put, the album lacks the intensity of his previous effort and with it the compositions fall like a house of cards.

It doesn't really help that most of the material consists of adaptations and arrangements of other people's music with Wyatt concentrating mainly on the lyrics, just like he did on Matching Mole's Little Red Record. This definitely makes it hard to label this release as a proper Robert Wyatt solo album especially when the second part of the record loses any sense of direction with the very dull and traditionally sounding Soup Song. On top of that we also get an unnecessarily cheerful track called Sonia that falls completely out of context with the rest of the material.

If I had to highlight a better performance then it would be the Muddy Mouse trilogy which, once again, doesn't reach the intensity of Rock Bottom but instead keeps thing afloat in comparison to the rest of the material.

**** star songs: Muddy Mouse I (0:51) Solar Flares (5:38) Muddy Mouse II (0:52) 5 Black Notes And 1 White Note (5:02) Muddy Mouse III (6:17) Team Spirit (8:35) Song For Ché (3:42)

*** star songs: Soup Song (5:05) Sonia (4:20)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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