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Robert Wyatt - The Animals Film CD (album) cover

THE ANIMALS FILM

Robert Wyatt

Canterbury Scene


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Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The music of Robert Wyatt has never been that easy to categorise ; his early solo albums are Canterbury in a strange kind of way, but afterwards he re-emerged as a left- field, 'alternative' artist, dealing mainly with politics. This mini-album, clocking in at 28min 11secs, is the soundtrack to a Victor Schonfeld film, 'Animals', and according to the sleeve notes, the film deals with how humans treat/misuse animals, and, for example, how people wearing fur coats 'love' animals - quote ; " Because it's not about animals - it's about us. It's about human nature and the atrocities some factions of it can blandly commit " end quote. Robert W obviously watched the film, and created some 'music' to go with the gruelling footage. This 'music' shows RW can still experiment, especially when handed some synths - I don't know what equipment he is using, but the sounds are unique, and the way each 'snippet' of 'music' is composed and played by this man alone, is well thought out and, I guess, relative to what the film content would be (I haven't seen it). You can hear Robert patting away on a small drum kit, noodling around with synths, piano, his Riviera keyboard (used extensively on Rock Bottom - it makes a strange, swirling sound - half synth/half organ) and his distinctive vocalizings, all of which sound very interesting and engaging, but it really is hard to describe this 'music' without actually hearing it for yourself. The moods can be quirky, dark and, at times, mysterious. It's not for everyone, but a very interesting release indeed.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#100880)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Animals Film is a soundtrack album by British progressive rock artist Robert Wyatt. After leaving The Soft Machine, his short adventure with Matching Mole, his near fatal accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down and the release of a couple of very critically acclaimed solo albums ( Rock Bottom (1974) in particular), Robert Wyatt didnīt really release any new solo material ( except for some singles and EPs) before releasing The Animals Film and the political protest cover song album Nothing Can Stop Us in 1982. In the intermediate years he had collaborated with a vast number of different artists including Henry Cow, Phil Manzanera, Hatfield and the North and Carla Bley.

The music on The Animals Film is composed for a film called Animals by Victor Schonfeld. Supposedly a film showing human cruelty against animals. Robert Wyatt had become a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1982 and was what some people might refer to as a left wing activist in those days. His agenda became more and more political in the late seventies to early eighties. The music on the album suits the unpleasant subject very well. Entirely composed and played by Robert Wyatt the music is rather experimental and atmospheric in nature. Itīs dark and even a bit unpleasant at times. The songs mostly consist of keyboards/ synths and percussion ( that sometimes sound like a drum-machine). The music is mostly instrumental and the only vocals found on the album are Robert Wyatt humming a melody using his voice as an instrument.

The sound quality is a bit lo-fi and canīt be compared to the productions on his seventies albums. It sounds like it was recorded in a murky basement somewhere.

Thereīs no doubt that The Animals Film is an album for the select few. It totally lacks mainstream appeal and even fans of Robert Wyatt should be cautious before purchasing this album. Personally I find the album intriguing and a bold statement from Robert Wyatt and I greatly respect his protest. Itīs not an album that I put on very often but I enjoy it when I do. 2.5 to 3 stars are deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#226086)
Posted Sunday, July 12, 2009 | Review Permalink

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