Robert Wyatt - Comicopera

Mr Wyatt, you’ve done it again.
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Wyatt’s first album since the slightly disappointing, albeit Mercury nominated, Cuckooland sees him pairing things back and cutting loose with a lighter live feel, allowing his beautifully weary and quintessentially English set of pipes to take centre stage.

It begins with a triumvirate of tender love tunes. “Just As You Are”, has Wyatt in duet with Monica Vasconcelos, recalling classic Wyatt works like Rock Bottom and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard, while “A Beautiful War” is an inspirational rallying cry to the eternal pessimist. But just as you think he’s delivered a straight ahead pop album along comes “Out of the Blue”, a chaotic account of a western military operation upon a civilian target, which dramatically changes the mood. Tellingly, for the duration of “Away With The Fairies”, the album’s final section, the terrain gets a little rougher, the chords conjuring darker and more ominous hues. It’s noticeable that Wyatt sings these final songs in Italian and Spanish, eschewing his native tongue, seemingly in protest against Anglo-American imperialism and the cultural wing which serves it. Comicopera is a fantastical journey and an endearingly coherent tri-lingual polemic. Mr Wyatt, you’ve done it again.

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