by carl wilson

4. Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland

A rare sighting of the Silver-Plumed Wyte, one of England's most elusive and intoxicating songbirds, known to frequent lush glades full of misting wonder, sprays of anger, and clouds of unknowing. One among many albums on this list to rock on the border of kool electronix and underground pazz-and-jop (just as Top 40 hip-hop and R&B; have been doing for several years), it is among the very most assured, as Canterbury old prog-jazz-rock hand Wyatt never met a musical style he couldn't crush down and incorporate into the idiosyncratic, diamond-hard soul at the core of his seeming balmy harmlessness.

It's worth noting that this album, for all its gorgeous ramadingding, also contains some of the year's best protest music -- a curdlingly angry lullaby for Palestine, the names of various major figures in human-rights atrocities sung as if part of a language soup, emphasizing the way that the world at large remains deaf to their existence. Only Wyatt can be this fierce and this mild simultaneously; it's a kind of aural Ghandism, not argued, just performed, demonstrated. Now, you world leaders, follow the bouncing ball.

And - does it need to be said? - one of the world's great, great voices, great singers- the post-hippie, white British socialist Billie Holiday.

On Record | Posted by zoilus on Saturday, January 10 at 1:38 AM | Linking Posts

 

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Zoilus by Carl Wilson