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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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4 stars Third Wyatt's solo album was released next year after his excellent intimate "Rock Bottom". Not strange, it wasn't easy to follow such release by something of the same level. And "Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard" didn't.

This album in some sense is a compilation of different previously unreleased songs and ideas (some comes from Wyatt's before Soft Machine period,others are reworked songs of other authors,as Phil Manzanera,etc).Original vinyl album had Side Ruth (instead of A) and Side Richard (side B),what is missed on CD re-releases. Sound of all album is very relaxed, melancholic and in fact even this release is not on the level of previous one,it cemented Wyatt's reputation as unique song and atmosphere singer. Some well-known musicians participated on recording (Fred Frith and Brian Eno between others).

Comparing with Rock Bottom, this album is obviously more jazz and jazz-vocals oriented.Gary Windo's sax soloing in few places is really great, it's pity all music is a bit too minimalistic. "Side Richard" is more serious and contains some moments of free-jazz and Eno-added avant sounds.Full of intelligent nuances and fragile atmosphere, this work lacks only some brighter compositions and whole better structure to become another masterpiece. "Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard" is last Wyatt's solo studio album in ten years to come. For some upcoming time he will spent more time on his political interests, will become British Communist Party member and will release some radical leftist singles.

My rating is 3,5.

snobb | 4/5 |


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