Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Cuckooland

Posted on

Cuckooland

type:
Music
Current Status:
In Season
performer:
Robert Wyatt
Producers:
Hannibal, Rykodisc

We gave it a B+

Since an accident in the early ’70s left him in a wheelchair, the former drummer-vocalist of ’60s U.K. psych-jazzbos the Soft Machine has made haunting solo records that increasingly ponder, wisely and gently, why humans are such brutes. The latest continues his evolution from pop minimalism to more open songwriting with cameos by avant-jazz offspring Karen Mantler (playing Tammy Wynette to his activist George Jones) and old prog-rock pals like Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. Mixing horns, strangely billowing keyboards, and restless drumming, he creates a sort of ambient swing, while his weathered high tenor remains as moving as any jazz singer you can name. BACKSTORY-TELLING Look for Wyatt’s 1974 LP ”Rock Bottom” (Virgin) and ”Compilation,” which contains the definitive version of Elvis Costello’s 1983 antiwar meditation ”Shipbuilding.”

Comments