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Robert Wyatt - Nothing Can Stop Us CD (album) cover

NOTHING CAN STOP US

Robert Wyatt

 

Canterbury Scene

3.23 | 29 ratings

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snobb
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This Wyatt's album is very controversial one. It contains a collection of singles Wyatt recorded for newly founded Rough Trade label in few years (and he didn't release studio album at that period at all).

By its structure A side contains singles' A-sides, and album's B-side - singles' B-sides (in chronological order). The only original composition on all album is opener quirky "Born Again Cretin". All other compositions are covers of songs of different time and musical genres, but many of them are common theme - they are leftist (often -radical) ideology hymns in one or another form. Even "Red Flag", Communist Party hymn found place there between them.

Musically album is quite minimalistic and often simplistic, but contains few Wyatt's excellent songs at the same time ( Chick song's "At Last I'm Free" is one of greatest Wyatt's song ever). Unfortunately, after very few first songs things turn to bad direction on this album. "Caimanera" is a version of "Guantanamera", the famous Cuban pop song appropriated as a nationalist/anti-imperialist anthem. Wyatt sings in Spanish, and the song is a total disaster. Similar case is "Arauco" - Chilean protest song. Two them would be enough to make album less attractive, but it's still a beginning of serious troubles.

American song "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'" could be understandable in historical contest, but huge dose of Soviet nostalgia, even sung a-Capella, in early 80s (read - Cold War time) sounds as misunderstanding (softly speaking).Even more terrible is music-less narrative poem "Stalingrad", closing this album. Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" cover sounds almost as lyric ballade in such neighborhood.And even more pity - all these songs are extremely simple and uninteresting musically.Terrible combination...

Everyone familiar with Wyatt's solo works perfectly knows his love to leftist propaganda, but quite often when the music is great you can just ignore these foolish naive things ( I can hardly imagine Wyatt killing 10% of England's population,as Stalin done with Soviet Union, in local GULAGs for his crazy ideas). But when bloody ideology wins against music, it becomes difficult to accept it.I wonder how Wyatt himself see these his songs from nowadays position.OK, it's possibly more his private business, but I know at least few European countries (free countries, not ruled by dictators, and placed on the world list of free countries higher than UK or France), where propaganda of fascism and communism both are banned (because these two radical ideologies are anti-human by their nature), and I expect Wyatt would have serious problems when singing some songs from this album in public there.

In all, few songs are really great (Wyatt will return to them in his later albums), all other are very controversial and musically often hardly interesting material.Album mostly for Colombian guerrillas,if they care about such things....

snobb | 2/5 |

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