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Comicopera


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Audio CD, October 9, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Robert Wyatt is a rare bird. His remarkable career began forty years ago drumming and singing for Soft Machine, a post-psych outfit tied to the Canterbury Scene of the late `60s that yielded Pink Floyd & Gong among others. His ensuing and far longer solo period speaks volumes of Wyatt's value and endurance as an artist. The arrival of Comicopera, his ninth album, finds Wyatt in a more overt guise. Whereas intimacy defines the experience of listening to previous albums, Comicopera employs collaboration to capture the inviting sound of friends playing together in a room. Fortunately, Robert Wyatt has some very talented friends Brian Eno, Paul Weller, Phil Manzanera and a small orchestra of string, woodwind, brass and percussion players. Divided in three acts Comicopera is an epic genre-bending allegory told through Wyatt's fragile tenor voice. It's more than a grand effort that rewards with each listen. It is the next chapter in the life's work of a contemporary music scholar who deserves examination.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Stay Tuned (album) 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Just As You Are (album) 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. You You (album) 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. A.W.O.L. (album) 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Anachronist (album) 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. A Beautiful Peace (album) 2:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Be Serious (album) 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. On The Town Square (album) 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Mob Rule (album) 2:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. A Beautiful War (album) 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Out Of The Blue (album) 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Del Mondo (album) 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Cancion de Julieta (album) 7:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Pastafari (album) 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Fragment (album) 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Hasta Siempre Comandante (album) 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Domino
  • ASIN: B000VFGQDE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,493 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Biography

Robert Wyatt is a rare bird. His remarkable career began forty years ago drumming and singing for Soft Machine, a post-psych outfit tied to the “Canterbury Scene” of the late ‘60s that yielded Pink Floyd & Gong among others. His ensuing and far longer solo period speaks volumes
of Wyatt’s value and endurance as an ... Read more in Amazon's Robert Wyatt Store

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for 57 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
64%
4 star
27%
3 star
9%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 11 customer reviews
The quality of the record and cover are also great.
ghofnug
Keep your mind open, and you'll more than likely have an adventure of a lifetime!
Elliot Knapp
Apparently Robert Wyatt wanted an album played as much "live" as possible.
Danny A. Vogel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Knapp on October 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a wonderful treat it is to greedily tear off the wrapping on an uncommon joy--a brand new Robert Wyatt album! The fact that we're living in a world where we can eagerly anticipate more music from the inimitable, eccentric brilliance of a man like Robert Wyatt makes it that much more livable, as far as I'm concerned.

Comicopera is different from Wyatt's inexhaustible back catalog in a few key ways--first, it's a (very!) loose concept 'opera' album in three acts--(1) Lost in Noise [generally an introspective portrait of existence in the present day] (2) The Here and Now [more of an outward look at current events, trends, and wars in so-called 'Western' society], and (3) Away With the Fairies [an escape from the English-speaking mindset into the music and languages of other cultures; primarily Spanish and Italian]. Second, it's the first Robert Wyatt album to be primarily recorded live, with the musicians playing simultaneously together in one room. Last, it's Wyatt's first release on indie powerhouse Domino Records, home of Franz Ferdinand and Animal Collective, among many others. This fact, combined with Cuckooland's (his most recent album, from 2003) Mercury prize nod, means that Comicopera may be the object of the most mainstream hype of any Robert Wyatt record ever--with younger fans of Domino's artists curiously sniffing around Wyatt's new record as well as music fans who were actually around when he first started out with the Soft Machine in the late 60's but haven't bothered to look into his music until now, Robert's music is no longer the exclusive possession of a slightly deranged and rabid (present reviewer included) cult fanbase.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Danny A. Vogel on October 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So much has been said in prior customer reviews already. May I please just add a few brief comments to stress some points missing in prior reviews?

First, let's place this musician in a musical context for the uninitiated. Robert Wyatt has been responsible for contributing two milestone events in the history of music that most people on the west side of the pond (USA) in particular, where I live, seem criminally unaware of: the band Soft Machine in the 1960s that revolutionized popular music the way Zappa, the Doors, Captain Beefheart, the Velvet Underground and Nico did in rock during that decade, and the solo album "Rock Bottom" from 1974, probably among the most accomplished, daring, original and beautiful collections of music from the entire 20th Century, and that includes the greatest modern classical works, jazz albums and film soundtracks from those hundred years.

Robert Wyatt's "Comicopera" can not be considered his greatest work as it was "Rock Bottom" that really started it all - that playful, jazz-soaked, and melodic work that actually represented a turning point in rock as significant as the punk revolution two years later but in a more musically sophisticated manner - another return to the basics, to inventiveness, to celebrating the sounds of the instruments, transcending but also deeply honoring other influences than those punk would be referencing from merely rock'n'roll - such as jazz, world music, and electronics (for let us not forget that his albums are always profoundly colored by electronic instrumentation).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Carlberg on November 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The first thing you notice about this album is the sound -- Wyatt sings very softly and intimately, as if he's recording in bed under the covers, trying not to wake the rest of the house. The other instruments share a similar effect -- the cellos and basses have a lot of resin, the trombone and trumpet are played at the limit of resonance (meaning you hear a lot of breath noises), Eno's synthesizer textures are reedy and full of higher frequencies... Nothing is clean or simple. The sound textures are all extremely complex waveforms, to the point that it's sometimes difficult to discern exactly what instrument is playing -- or is that a vocal? This has been true of most of Wyatt's previous work too, but here the effect is pronounced and the first thing you notice about the album.

The second thing you notice is the construction of the songs. These are not simple popsongs, with any discernable verse-chorus-verse structures or even A-B-A-C repeating sections. They unfold organically, logically, intentionally -- but in that unique non-linear dream-logic of Wyatt's. In some songs the instruments support the vocals, in others the vocals support the instruments, and there are a couple of pure instrumentals -- unusual for a singer/songwriter.

The net effect is a startlingly unique album. The songs don't bear the emotional weight of the crushing "Rock Bottom" album, but in its own way "Comicopera" is every bit as iconoclastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barry P. S. on December 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Here's more to love Mr. Wyatt for!

Great songs and fine tunes with heart from someone that feels like an old friend.

One thing though,.....Is this supposed to come with a booklet. Mine has an empty pouch that seems to be for one. Hmmmm....?
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