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Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom CD (album) cover


Robert Wyatt


Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 772 ratings

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5 stars Rock Bottom is the second full-length studio album by British experimental rock artist Robert Wyatt. Unlike what some people seem to think most of the material on Rock Bottom were written before Robert Wyatt´s accident. His fall from a fourth floor window on the 1st of July 1973 left him paralyzed from the waist down and meant that he had to concentrate on singing more. The realization that he was never going to be a drummer again must have been a hard pill to swallow. While most of the material were written during a stay in Venice in in early 1973 according to the booklet in the CD version ( which is written by Robert Wyatt himself) the arrangements of the songs where mostly done by Wyatt during his recuperation from his accident.

The music on Rock Bottom is quite unique, dark and haunting. Robert Wyatt´s fragile and distinct voice is intense and deeply emotional and the lyrics are clever. There are lots of guests on the album ( including Richard Sinclair, Hugh Hopper, Laurie Allan, Mike Oldfield, Fred Frith and Ivor Cutler) and besides the more ordinary rock instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums there are also lots of percussion, brass and keyboards on the album. The drumming is mostly subtle and there are actually more parts without drums than with drums. The music can seem repetitive in structure but the emotion that the music invokes is really something special IMO. Quite frankly I´ve never heard anything like this before. If you´re familiar with the very dissonant and experimental debut album The End of an Ear (1970) by Robert Wyatt don´t expect Rock Bottom to sound anything like that one. While I found the former annoying to the point where it hurt my ears I find the latter to be one of the most beautiful and deeply emotional albums I´ve ever heard. It´s a very atmospheric album. Calm yet intense. Dark and serious but at the same time greatly humourous ( just listen to the ending minutes of Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road).

The production is warm and pleasant. Another great feature on an already perfect album.

Rock Bottom has moved me greatly and it now ranks among my favorite albums. I find it very recommendable if you enjoy dark and atmospheric music with deeply emotional vocals. A very unique album that definitely deserves a 5 star rating from me.

UMUR | 5/5 |


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