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Robert Wyatt - Shleep CD (album) cover


Robert Wyatt


Canterbury Scene

3.86 | 160 ratings

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4 stars Shleep is Robert Wyatt's return to his ambitious roots with a long list of musicians lining up to give him a hand and add new interesting layers to the sound of this album. Among these contributions are such renowned names as the two ex-Roxy Music collaborators Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera, who adds an unexpected guitar layers to the otherwise completely guitar-less Wyatt universe.

The music featured on the album is just as ambitious as the lineup by shifting styles between experimental and more relaxed compositions but this time with the new sounds and styles that seem to breath new life to the artist's generally stripped down composition style. To me, it almost sounds just like a mix between the melancholic and personal performance on Rock Bottom but with a feel of a full band setting that was especially memorable on Ruth is Stranger Than Richard. Just add the fact that most of this material was written by Wyatt himself and we finally get the great follow-up album that I have been waiting for ever since his 1974 career highlight.

Even though the music shifts gear on many occasions throughout the album it all has been carefully arranged not to feel out of place with the rest of material, which was somewhat of a problem for me on Robert Wyatt's previous releases. Songs like upbeat Blues In Bob Minor, that I believe is a tribute to Bob Dylan, wouldn't really have worked in a stripped down arrangement on any of the other Wyatt albums but here the cloudy synthesizer sound completely removes this problem providing the composition with a smooth and quite original sound. The music on Shleep is arranged into gorgeous dreamlike soundscapes that are especially notable on tracks like Free Will And Testament.

This is a great return to form by the artist that most progressive rock fans have given up on since Rock Bottom. If you're one of these people than I strongly suggest giving Shleep a go since this is the best recording that Robert Wyatt have released since his heydays back in the '70s!

***** star songs: September The Ninth (6:42)

**** star songs: Heaps Of Sheeps (4:58) The Duchess (4:20) Maryan (6:13) Was A Friend (6:13) Free Will And Testament (4:14) Alien (6:49) Out Of Season (2:33) A Sunday In Madrid (4:43) Blues In Bob Minor (5:48) The Whole Point Of No Return (1:25)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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