6 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Robert Wyatt had been an integral member of the Soft Machine, Canterbury, England’s greatest art-rock band. Where other art-rockers looked to wild theatrics and grandiose concepts, the Soft Machine plunged ahead into their uncompromising music. This brilliant solo album was being written before Wyatt fell from a five-story window and broke his spine. He finished it in the hospital, realizing that the album would have much less of his drumming and far more of his gentle, emotionally compelling voice. The arrangements are delicate and often sparse. His bride-to-be Alfreda Benge helped inspire him to new levels of personal introspection that still play out as complex puzzles. “Sea Song” is a perfect opener, settling into a melody that slips around the modest keyboards. “A Last Straw” begins as an atmospheric piece before breaking into cherubic vocals. “Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road” is psychedelic with a tough, acid edge. “Alifib” is a soothing match of instrumental weirdness and mild, heart-melting vocals.  Wyatt remains a relative obscurity in the U.S., despite his massive talents.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Robert Wyatt had been an integral member of the Soft Machine, Canterbury, England’s greatest art-rock band. Where other art-rockers looked to wild theatrics and grandiose concepts, the Soft Machine plunged ahead into their uncompromising music. This brilliant solo album was being written before Wyatt fell from a five-story window and broke his spine. He finished it in the hospital, realizing that the album would have much less of his drumming and far more of his gentle, emotionally compelling voice. The arrangements are delicate and often sparse. His bride-to-be Alfreda Benge helped inspire him to new levels of personal introspection that still play out as complex puzzles. “Sea Song” is a perfect opener, settling into a melody that slips around the modest keyboards. “A Last Straw” begins as an atmospheric piece before breaking into cherubic vocals. “Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road” is psychedelic with a tough, acid edge. “Alifib” is a soothing match of instrumental weirdness and mild, heart-melting vocals.  Wyatt remains a relative obscurity in the U.S., despite his massive talents.

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