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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Rock Bottom

Robert Wyatt

1974

Rock Bottom

Album Summary

Rock Bottom is the second solo album by former Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt. It was released on 26 July 1974 by Virgin Records. The album was produced by Pink Floyd's drummer Nick Mason, and was recorded following a 1973 accident which left Wyatt a paraplegic. He enlisted musicians including Ivor Cutler, Hugh Hopper, Richard Sinclair, Laurie Allan, Mike Oldfield and Fred Frith in the recording.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.44

Votes

4595

Genres

  • Rock
  • Folk
  • Psychedelic Rock
Reviews
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View Author
Wed Dec 15 2021
4

4.4 - I was initially turned off by the vocals that struggle to keep in tune with a rather complex melody on "Sea Song." Aptly named, that song floats on a sea of sound that seems to envelope and immerse you in a strange and delightful soundscape reminiscent of "Kid A." In fact, so many sounds seem to directly inform "Kid A" that Thom Yorke could well be accused of ripping it off. There's the riot of woodwinds on "Little Red Riding..." that's reminiscent of "National Anthem" and then there's "Alifib" whose garbled vocals bring to mind "Everything In Its Right Place." Wow, as I'm writing all this, my esteem for this record just keeps rising. Then there are the moments of spoken word, especially on the final track, that add so much atmosphere. And let's not forget the backstory! Yeah, this one's a trip. I'll come back to this.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
1

Dog shite

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

This is simply wonderful - probably my favorite discovery from this list so far. I found this much more accessible than your average prog. The whole thing sounds like a dream, both the instruments and the vocals. I could get lost in this album... Fave track - "Sea Song", but really this album demands to be listened to straight through...

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Wed Mar 16 2022
5

Obviously this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, and honestly I can see why this is hardly anyone's cup of tea, but goddamn I have to stick up for Robert Wyatt. First of all, the fact that he became paralyzed while in the middle of making this record, and that he then carried on to complete it and continue his music career, is nothing short of miraculous. I have always found his music both haunting and comforting, particularly his voice, but if you listen to this album through the lens of what he was going through at the time, this album takes on a whole new depth and dimension. Yes, this album is challenging, but to be the cathartic, soul searching record that it is, it has to be challenging. If you have an immediate negative reaction to this album, I get it, feel free to move on. But if you find yourself not quite sure how to feel about it, give it another spin. I promise you it becomes more rewarding with repeated listens (particularly on a good pair of headphones at night).

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Tue May 03 2022
5

I almost turned the album off after the first two tracks, but told myself, “you only have to listen to the album once and never again…” so I kept listening and I’m very glad I did. It’s beauty hit me despite my reluctance and disinterest.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

This is something I could sink into. First listen of Robert Wyatt. No possible way to digest it all in the first listen. My favorite kind of music. Sounds ahead of its time.

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Sun Mar 06 2022
4

An expansive and unusual album. The beginning is rather dirgelike before taking off into a horn filled modal jazz like middle section. This album is tinged with pastoral British folk passages undergirded by experimental lyrics and instrumentation. It’s honestly rather brilliant.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
3

i feel too dumb to enjoy this

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

One of the most beautiful sounding albums ever. It is very typical English art rock, and I always thought of it as The Hounds of Love of the 70s. It has quite a reputation, and for sure, Radiohead fans will like it. In short: a great album, 5 stars easily.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

I had never heard of Robert Wyatt but as I listened to “Sea Song” I was very intrigued and engaged at this truly unique and very odd love song. I stared at the cover of the album as I listened and felt myself drifting into its world. Do I love this song…? I think I do… “A Last Straw” meandered about and I felt myself drifting like a krill in a giant ocean as the music pushed me this way and that through its currents. It was strangely wonderful. I could live here. Midway through “Little Red Riding Hood Hits the Road” I realized the singing was backwards. I had to reference the lyrics to realize he was unsinging the lyrics from the first half of the song. I would have thought it was some musical joke but I found it strangely satisfying. The horns in this song are wonderful and there is an excitement with really lovely piano and a driving beat. “Alifib” has more of that drifting-along-in-the-sea vibe that I really am loving. The inscrutable lyrics sound almost like a prayer amidst the shifting currents of the song. Wonderful. “Alife” continues in a similar way, but becomes more frenetic as it advances until the kind of wild saxophone bellowing away at the end. The chant at the end is really odd and I am not sure what it all means, but I really liked the drama. “Little Red Robin Hood Hits the Road” then closes the album in a really perfect way. It is dramatic and cacophonous through its first have, then settles down with some quietly droning strings and a strange monotonal chant. A somewhat maniacal laugh closes the album. Wow! This is really surprising to me that it was created in 1974… it sounds more in line with Radiohead or Thom Yorke’s solo stuff. I had no idea that something like this existed 40 years ago to serve as such a unique source of inspiration. I love hitting ROCK BOTTOM with Robert Wyatt. The swirling sounds took me into a watery world in a way that was a true surprise. I connected to the stark and solitary world it creates and will happily return there again soon.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

This was the perfect listen at the perfect time. Why wouldn't someone sing backwards during my stay at The Great Northern Hotel from Twin Peaks? Will I ever want to listen again? Who knows. But it will remain a special memory forever.

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Sun Jan 02 2022
4

Probably the most enjoyable jazzy/proggy album we have had on this list, although that's a very low bar. I can definitely hear some echos of this in Radiohead and God Speed! You Black Emperor.

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Sun Jun 12 2022
4

It is albums like this that keep me doing this list. Having only know of Robert Wyatt through his song Shipbuilding I was expecting an album of folk ballads. That would have been OK but an album of wild sounding jazz fusion mixed with psychedelia was a 100 times better. I had to check I was still listening to the right album at one stage as some of the noises wouldn't have been out of place on some bands I like that came 10-20 years after this release. I had no idea about Robert Wyatt's accident and the struggle he had gone through in the lead up to this album. It makes what I heard on Rock Bottom even more meaningful. I need to explore more of his work now

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Thu Apr 01 2021
3

I only listened to it once, and to be honest I’ve no idea what was going on. He’s to listen to in parts but some really enjoyable aspects to it to. I didn’t hate it, and I’m going to go back and give it a bit more time so I guess that’s a (generous/benefit of the doubt) 3/5 in my book.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
1

WTF. this is one of the more unlistenable things we've come across. the jabberwocky lyrical content (i can't tell if they are lyrics or backward masked sounds most of the time), and the whole thing is psychedulic, dissonant mumbo jumbo.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
1

Another experimental one. Nothing here that I like at all

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

Like a folk David Bowie. Awesome

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

Perfect melancholy.

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Fri May 06 2022
5

very good sound, quirky and interesting!

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Fri May 21 2021
4

Solid. Solid Vocals and instrumentation. Liked it a lot.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
4

Well this was wild. Really cool experience. I should check this out again at some point.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

I don't usually listen to art rock, so I was not sure I would enjoy this album. But actually, most of it is very solid, though it gets a bit boring in the middle.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
4

This got pretty adventurous. Kind of like a folky/prog sound. Interesting.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

This is so weird and artsy I love it. The instrumentation is prog-y and orchestral, it sounds amazing.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Well, what is this? - "Experimental jazz meets psychedelic pop" with a strong emphasis on "psychedelic". "Alife" even resembles Jean Michel Jarres Ethnicolor from the Zoolook album, even though it's and entierely different genre. I found it strangely difficult to fast forward or skip tracks. The whole album is very trippy, in a good way. This is far from my usual tastes, but I'll give this 3.5/5.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

Trippy, good background though

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Wed Mar 16 2022
4

The very few pages of Finnegan's Wake I've read come to mind, I'm sure because of the water.

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

an insane and mournful fever dream. like a David Bowie-Radiohead AI-generated salad

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Thu May 13 2021
3

Pretty sick. Sort of King Crimson-y. Super psychadelic, a little jazzy, very progressive, but more chill/ambient than heavy rock and also a healthy dash of creepiness.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
3

Quite interesting.

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Wed May 12 2021
3

Intriguing. Art rock ain’t my thing, but this guy’s story is amazing.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
3

Had it on as background music but there was some freaky shit going on. It's AHRT ROCK man. Pretty amazing in the context of him becoming a paraplegic before writing/ recording.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
2

Unlistenable! British art house nonsense for the sake of itself.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
1

It was shit

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Sun Mar 14 2021
1

Horrendous. Experimental hippie jazz.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
1

Absolute rock bottom

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Fri Feb 05 2021
1

this album sucks holy shit

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Sun Feb 28 2021
1

The interpretive dance equivalent of music

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Thu Mar 04 2021
1

Possibly the worst yet. Deserves a 0/5.

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Sun Feb 06 2022
1

God awful noise

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Fri Feb 25 2022
1

Wanker music. Example of some of the egregiously self-indulgent pap produced during that time.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
1

OMG. That voice. Perfectly named album: "Rock Bottom". Horrible album in every way. Rather listen to Yoko screaming. F

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Sat Nov 27 2021
5

Очень нравится))

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Fri Dec 10 2021
5

Das ist mal wieder der Grund, warum diese Liste auch Spaß machen kann. Fast mehr Kunst als „nur“ Musik zieht Wyatt uns hinab in einen Wahnsinn, in dessen Zentrum alle Instrumente aufhören zu spielen und stattdessen anfangen zu singen. Eric Chenaux hat sicher mehr als nur eine Prise des zerstoßenen „Rock Bottoms“ in sein Gesamtwerk eingeknetet. Völlig faszinierte 4.5

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

beautiful

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

Wave after wave, Robert Wyatt takes us on an astonishing and marvellous trip to the sea. His frail voice is the auditory equivalent of spindrifts: it has an automatic effect on you, and can even repel you at first given its somewhat flimsy grasp of pitch sometimes, but once you get used to it, it becomes close to a mischievous, evocative friend tickling your senses. Soon, you don't notice Robert's quaver is relatively vulnerable anymore, because you're already under the surface with it, bathing in the middle of strange and poetic sonic landscapes. Everything about this record is liquid--the voice, of course, but also the synth and organ layers, the oozy basslines, and the many jazzy brass flourishes. It would be a mistake to only address the sonic textures, though: repeated listens indeed soon reveal how the tracks are carefully constructed too, their different parts and intricate arrangements phasing in and out of the foreground, weaving their seaweed fabric as their tides ebb and flow all around your ears. Water is enticing, but it's also treacherous. Take the short intro of wonderful opener "Sea Song", for example. You might believe that those relatively by-the-number piano chords announce a somewhat mundane ballad, yet the emotional turmoil right after those first seconds sounds far more intense than what you could have expected at first, and this until the deliverance of the transcendant final part, filled with hope and longing. Wyatt is also unreliable in the ways that he sometimes winks at the audience, especially when he makes goofy non-sequiturs in his lyrics or uses a lower grotesque timbre to create unexpected lighter moments compared to the rest of the tortured proceedings. In that realm, see also the backwards-recorded voice in the middle of "Little Red Riding Hood Hit The Road", rewinding everything that was sung up to that point in the song, a playful move that suggests the sort of tricks a child could play on you. If the key word to "get" this record is catharsis, it's still one taken with a huge grain of salt, in keeping with the oceanic mood. Everything is nicely summed up in the last track, "Little Red *Robin Hood* Hit The Road": yes, its first part does amp up the intense longing to embrace an ocean of experience and emotions already diplayed in the rest of the album, supported by mellifluous electric guitar licks, unmistakably played by Mike Oldfield. Yet as grand as this first part sounds, the song (and album)'s conclusion returns to the quicksands of that surrealistic grotesque mode we talked about earlier, mocking transcendence through Wyatt's voice, here set once more to a gruffy, near-comical mode. This earthy coda suggests we finally returned to the shores of mankind, welcomed by a wrinkled mariner gently admonishing us through his inane and uncomprehensible babble. Our odyssey is over. The end. What a trip. What a strange voyage. Far less groovy and free-formed than Wyatt's original band Soft Machine, but far more poetic and evocative, *Rock Bottom* is a seventies prog-rock masterpiece which could not be further distanced from all the virtuosistic clichés of the genre. As such, it's bound to be discovered again and again by future fans of experimental music, undettered by the nonplussed reactions of shallower minds around them rejecting all this as utter nonsense. The tides, they come and go. Robert Wyatt knew it, and we can all be glad he went with the flow here. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 838 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory: 89 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 39 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 33

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Thu Aug 11 2022
5

Strange but soothing, intoxicating, expansive, a waking dream. Like swimming underwater through an ocean of prog, free jazz, rock and Middle Eastern/Byzantine drone and melody. An incredibly beautiful album.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

Wow so this album is quite a journey. I'll admit during the opening strains of Sea Song I wasn't expecting to give this a very high rating but at some point it clicked what was going on. This strange proggy, folky beautiful mess of an album unfolds in front of you, constantly surprising but never sounding out of place in context of the rest of the record. Robert is a brilliant songwriter and incredibly cryptic lyricist and his delicate warbling, meandering delivery takes a while to get used to but seems to reflect exactly what he was trying to achieve. Not to mention he has recruited a hell of a team to play with him. This is the sound of a group of musicians who have got wild experimentation down to a fine art. I can see myself revisiting this many times in the future.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

Very lovely. Never heard this. Amusingly had a later Elvis Costello album yesterday so it's a before and after Shipbuilding here, which is fun. Absolutely love Little Red Riding Hood the first, and Alife. I'm obviously going to love this with my NEU! predilections. Drink it in. Also this has Ivor Cutler on it at the end. 5 big stars.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
4

Занимательный арт-рок. Первый альбом Роберта Уайатта после несчастного случая.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
4

poetic and weird i kinda like it like if the beatles did too many drugs.

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Sun Dec 12 2021
4

While preparing to record the album, the drunken Wyatt fell from a third-floor window and was paralysed from the waist down. Nevertheless, Wyatt made Rock Bottom one of the first known rock records recorded by an artist in a wheelchair. (8/10) FT: Sea Song

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Fri Jan 21 2022
4

Really enjoyed this. It has a rhythmic bouncy folky feel for a prog rock album. So much better than angry shredding rock nonsense.

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Wed Feb 16 2022
4

Incredible story behind this album. The songs are definitely a bit eclectic, but they are relaxing and enjoyable to listen to. Very creative

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Mon Jun 13 2022
4

Unusual, but I like the songwriting. I personally would prefer the production to be less electronic, I'm not sure how well it fits the rest of the style. I knew the first song from a folk cover, its a great track although I still prefer the cover

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

I wasn't in the mood the first time I listened but I enjoyed my second and third listen. It is weirdly beautiful with some very strange lyrics.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

A complex work that will reward many re listens

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

maybe his best

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Me rn

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Nice Melodiesthis album was a lot of fun… sounds like a 70s version of Radiohead

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Sun Oct 09 2022
4

Rock créatif des débuts des 1970, presque iconoclaste. L’histoire humaine derrière les textes est émouvante. Me fait penser à Patrick Watson par sa créativité.

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Sun Oct 16 2022
4

Belle surprise, je ne connaissais pas du tout cet artiste. J'ai aimé tout le côté étrange, dissonant, expérimental. Je réécouterai certainement.

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Sun Nov 27 2022
4

A mediocre album bookended by two stunning songs.

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Wed Nov 18 2020
3

3

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Mon Feb 22 2021
3

Psychedelic, really weird.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
3

Nice parts but got weird as hell at some parts

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Wed May 19 2021
3

Gott, was ist DAS denn jetzt schon wieder? Nach 4 Minuten habe ich mir die Frage gestellt, ob das absichtlich komisch sein soll. Wird besser. Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road ist ein gutes Stück. Man muss allerdings was genommen haben, um auf Alifib und Alife zu kommen. Leider ist er nicht rechtzeitig davon runtergekommen, um die beiden Stücke wegzulassen.

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Wed May 19 2021
3

On the fence with this. Fully original and a great deal of individual vision (some reminding me a of Chris Knox) but the execution a little scattershot.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
3

Pretty interesting. 6/10

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Thu Jul 08 2021
3

I liked this album's artsy, atmospheric instrumentation and maybe could have given it a 4 for that alone if it weren't for the vocals being so irritatingly distracting.

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Sun Jul 04 2021
3

Dreamy and psych, but requires the correct state/day/attitude

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Fri Jun 18 2021
3

David Bowie con folk

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Mon May 24 2021
3

Interesting album. Probably not something I will put on again, but it's good.

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Wed May 05 2021
3

Weird experience. Not that I really care for it, but it has it's moments, such as the end of Little Red Robin Hood Hit The Road

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Thu Mar 04 2021
3

Unique instrumentation, cool little album. Would have preferred a bit more change in singing style over the album

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Wed Apr 28 2021
3

Wired and wonderful at times with some exquisite cameos. Studious returns for further listening may discover more.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
3

Interesting

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Thu Jul 22 2021
3

Discordant and strangely melancholic.

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Thu Aug 12 2021
3

Nice, but despite my sensitivity to the genre it failed to rock my foundations.

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Fri Aug 13 2021
3

3/5

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Fri Aug 13 2021
3

Some interesting sounds, like a proto-Radiohead at their most experimental or even a bit of a Pink Floyd or Bowie vibe some jazz elements in that the structure is just not there especially in the piano playing. Seems less polished though, it's a rawer sound than those other bands. Not sure that I like it but it's definitely unique and I think worth a listen. Alife is straight up hard to listen to.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
3

I didn't know what to expect from this at all. Oddly hypnotic and captivating.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
3

Interesting I suppose. Had it on in the background...probably deserves a closer listen.

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Sun Nov 07 2021
3

Disc complexe i difícil, que es una mica dur de sentir. Es pot percebre la seva qualitat i els temes són d'una densitat que no embruta la intensitat en la composició i execució de Wyatt. Un d'aquells famosos "clàssics per descobrir" que jo acceptaria (en la seva suposada magnitud) només en part

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Sun Jan 02 2022
3

Comfortably the best attempt at music I've heard this hour. It felt like how giving an Eskimo kiss to a baboon's anus after a curry feels.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
3

Not my taste. Appreciate it as a unique piece of art.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
3

S'alright

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Fri Jan 28 2022
3

Psychedelic sounds! I like it!!!

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Fri Feb 25 2022
3

Great production and mixing, sounds really smooth and perfect. But the actual style of music, a mix of ambience and psychedelia simply did not wow me in any way. The songs are too similar and lack direction.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
3

Doot doot

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

This is very weird music! not quite right for the morning commuite, maybe better suited to being slumped in a chair with a dram. I enjoyed lostening to this, found it quite trippy and very original.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

Instrumentally it's interesting but vocally, oof not my thing. Initially this is a 2 for the grating high pitched vocals but then I read up on the album and now I feel kinda bad since he became paraplegic during this album. However it seems this was still the same vocal style regardless of the accident from his previous works, maybe it became a bit more strained. The vocals unfortunately do not make me want to listen to it though. A 3 since it is trying something different.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

Listening to this is like getting stuck in a fever dream - which makes sense knowing that it was created in the wake of an injury that left him paraplegic. The experience of listening to it was not enjoyable for me.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
3

Первая песня напомнила Боуи. Да и остальные - довольно занятный эксперимент. Достойно ознакомления.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
3

I liked it a lot and will definitely revisit. Reminded me of Mike Oldfield.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
3

I've always thought Robert Wyatt was a bit of an odd duck, with his high-pitch, off-key delivery and his gloomy songs. But, learning that he was a paraplegic when he recorded this adds another perspective. The first song is lovely. The rest is listenable but I'm not a fan when the songs develop into more Avant Gard pieces. Still, you have to tip your hat to those who created and financed something this uncommercial. I read a quote by a Soft Machine guy saying that they voted out guitars early on, and RW seems to have followed that directive for the most part, but the solo by Mike Oldfield is instantly recognizable.

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Mon May 09 2022
3

kind of spacey, experimental, jazzy. It's alright I guess.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
3

Derrière le pseudonyme de Robert Wyatt se cache en fait notre Robert national, qui s'essaye ici à la musique avec plus ou moins de succès. Les rythmiques sont extrêmement approximatives, mais ce gloubi-boulga musical n'est finallement pas si désagréable.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
3

Tracks 1&2 Is he crushing on a mermaid? Track 3 Seems backwards looping tracks were all the rage in the 70s. Oh blimey, mercy me, woe are we. Dig the jazzy horns and bass though. Tracks 4&5 When he said "Nit nit folley baloley", I felt that. Dig the jazzy piano and drums though. Track 6 Is this what the English call 'taking the piss'? Dig the strings, etc. I like the jazzy soundscapes. Lyrically, I can see the influence on modern wordsmiths like Daft Punk and Lil' Pump. Still can't see the dead moles, but I'll try again in a few months.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
3

Knowing the context of this record-that Robert Wyatt was paralyzed by a fall from a high window just before recording, and music was basically all he had to live for-certainly helps increase one’s admiration for it. Its highly experimental and atonal nature, though, isn’t for everyone, despite the number of talented musicians on hand.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
3

I'm familiar with Soft Machine, so I had some idea of what to expect here. I'm glad this was included as it's not the kind of thing you hear very often. And once I got used to the vocals, I came to rather like this. Fans of Kid A should find much to enjoy here, though, I think I might like it even more than Kid A. I dig the pastoral vibe. And yeah, it's not the kind of thing I'll listen to every day, but some of the jams were spacey and cool. I definitely get some Meddle-era Pink Floyd vibes, which makes sense, given Nick Mason's involvement. Anyway, thumbs up.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
3

Going in totally blind on this one... "Your lunacy fits nicely with my own." That's a funny lyric. And that's a seriously strange outro (Sea Song). "Hey Robert, we're not going to be able to afford a trumpet player for 'A Last Straw.'" "No problem. I'll just sing the part. 'wah wah wah wah wah.' How was that?" "Fuckin' NAILED it!" "We're going to need a guitar solo." "No problem. Just record me tuning up." "Fuckin' BRILLIANT!" "I just binged 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' Hit record and let's play this song backwards." There is something strangely compelling about this. Can't exactly say I enjoyed it, it sounded like it were being composed as it was being recorded, but it seems like a peek into the very cluttered mind of a mad genius. This dude must be a trip to converse with. "Mr. Wyatt. Are you off your meds?" "I'm fighting for the crumbs from the little brown loaf. I want it. I want it. I want it. I want it." "So that's a 'yes'..." This is the first artist from this venture for whom I immediately listened to another album just to hear what the hell else this guy recorded. Pretty much a continuation of this album. I feel a little bad now knowing his story about the accident and his loss of the use of his legs just before recording this, but it seems to me that this artist would have recorded a similarly bizarre album regardless. I give it a tuna fish sandwich. A star rating just doesn't apply.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
3

Best listened to in an altered state.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
3

I think he told Nick Mason that he wanted a weird sound, not like that commercial pop that Pink Floyd does.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
3

This didn't make much of an impression on the first listen but glad I listened again. Oddly satisfying.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
3

Quirky, fascinating. Some great layered, tonal experimentation that I really liked. Definitely not for everyone. Fave Songs: Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road (2), Sea Song, Alifib, Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road (1)

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Thu Oct 06 2022
3

6/10. Not bad, but felt like it was just being weird for the hell of it.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
3

that was weird but kinda neat

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Sun Oct 09 2022
3

I am having a tough time rating this one. It's interesting, but not one I really want to revisit ...experimental, wild, weird...and hypnotic... let's say straight down the middle, 2.5, a worthwhile listen.

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Sun Oct 09 2022
3

Definitely ahead of its time. Parts of it reminded me of Peter Gabriel era Genesis, or Marillion in the Fish days (though that's pretty much the same thing, isn't it?). It was an interesting and enjoyable listen.

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Sun Oct 16 2022
3

i guess this is kinda interesting but it also irritates me immensely. makes me anxious

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Mon Oct 24 2022
3

I can't figure out what this album was trying to do, musically or otherwise. Not bad on the ears, though (mostly). Best track: Sea Song

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Mon Dec 05 2022
3

This is pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. 3/5

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Fri Oct 09 2020
2

Art (/prog?) rock rootz

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Thu Jan 21 2021
2

A bit weird

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Fri May 07 2021
2

meh, im not seeing it

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Wed Feb 24 2021
2

Sounds like a poor impression of Bowie

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Thu Feb 25 2021
2

A fisherman's point of view what Prog Rock should sound like. Pretty wealth compared to other realeses in 1974.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
2

Well this is some weirdness. Cant say I liked it, disliked at times even.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
2

Such an esoteric, cerebral album. Not bad.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
2

Strange. Probably pretty good but I don’t have the energy for a second listen

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Wed May 05 2021
2

Not sure why but I just didn't enjoy this.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
2

Was something I would've never come across but I don't feel I'd have missed out either. 2*

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Fri Feb 12 2021
2

Ouvi uma vez e nem lembro mais o que achei. A radio que comecou a tocar depois foi bem interessante

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Fri May 14 2021
2

Hard work

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Thu May 20 2021
2

Not my kind of album, although did apprecaite it in parts. Not sure on the vocals

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Wed Jun 16 2021
2

Strange

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Fri May 14 2021
2

songs are too long. i didnt like this one very much, the songs were so weird and trippy. it felt like there was no direction to it whatsoever. WAY WAY WAY too long and theres no point to it. but it wasnt bad 4/10

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Thu Jul 29 2021
2

Music sounded interesting, but hard to focus on with the grating vocals taking over. It's wierd, and not in a good way for me

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Fri Aug 13 2021
2

No thank you, could not make it through half the songs.

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Mon Aug 16 2021
2

New artist, new music. I'm not sure how to even classify this album. The music shuffled between a mild "okay" and "¿whuh?" Saxophone squonks and back-masked lyrics. If I had to label this, I would call it a "nope".

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Wed Sep 08 2021
2

Some of the sounds are nice, but it was too subversive to me. Probably will have to listen to it again and try to wrap my brain around it-but for now I didn’t really dig it.

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Thu Sep 09 2021
2

Rock Bottom makes me feel like I am floating in an undeep puddle. Heavily layered soundscapes and Robert's scratchy and snoopyesque vocals create what is at times engaging jazz-rock, and other times confusingly awful melodies. It's not something I enjoy, or like, but that I almost appreciate for it's artistic merit. 2/5.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
2

Not really my thing. There's some great instrumentation and production work on this album, but unfortunately the vocals just get on my nerves for most of the songs. It seems like a really emotional record that is layered in a unique way, certainly unlike anything I've heard before, but it just couldn't peak my interest enough to be invested. If you can get past whiney and repetitive vocal parts, this could be a great record for any listener. It certainly seems like a precursor for bands like Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, and other art/experimental rock bands. Favorite Song: Little Red Riding Hood Hit The Road Least Favorite: Alife

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Mon Oct 11 2021
2

I can see how it is influential, but I find it unlistenable

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Fri Nov 05 2021
2

Almost instrumental type of music experimental for the time.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
2

You sound different from other albums You come from the foam-crested mind

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Wed Nov 10 2021
2

Interesting, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
2

It started well with a track that had a real Bowie-esque feel to it (Sea Song). But the rest of it was just a little too hit and miss to reach my criteria for a 3. I wouldn't listen to it again, but I wouldn't be screaming "Make it stop!!!"

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Wed Dec 01 2021
2

Not awesome of something I must hear before I die.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
2

Not really for me

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Fri Dec 10 2021
2

Ich liebe z.B. Talk Talk viel zu sehr, und habe außerdem Kate Bush schon viel zu gut (und voll berechtigt) mit Punkten versorgt um das hier leichtfertig als mir zu artsy abzutun. Andererseits aber auch Sufjan Stevens die wenigen Punkte gegeben, die halt dafür von mir nur drin waren. Hach, un nu? Sehr kunstfertig natürlich, das hier. Bräuchte aber vermutlich mehr Anläufe als mein aktueller Zeitplan gewähren möchte. Leider deshalb nur: 2.4

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Thu Dec 16 2021
2

Awangardowosc i progresywnosc tego albumu uciekly daleko poza skale w ktorej sie obracalem, wiec po odsluchu jestem calkowicie zbambozlowany co tak wlasciwie uslyszalem, a jest czego sluchac, bo sporo artystow sie przewija przez plyte i obok instrumentow typowo rokowych mozna uslyszec takze skrzypce, klarnety, czy nawet bardziej egzotycznie koncertyne, czyli jakby mini harmonie reczna z klawiszami pod obiema lapami, pierwszy raz widze takie cuda, ale lista instrumentow jest jeszcze dziwniejsza, bo mozna tam znalezc lampki wina czy podstawki tego samego producenta, z ktorych pan Wyatt stara sie wydobyc dzwieki kotrych mu brakuje do swojej wizji, ktora jak przystalo na wyspiarza z Canterbury, pana Roberta Wyatta powinnienem kojarzyc z bandy soft machine, ktorej nazwa mi sie obila o uszy, chocby jako jojowa referencja, ale jednak na last fmie mialem przesluchane tylko kilka pojedycznych trakow z ich dyskografii, wiec to oczywiscie, ze Wyatta slysze teraz pierwszy raz, wiki podpowiada, ze w specyficznych okolicznosciach powstawala plyta, a raczej dosc nieciekawych, bo nagrywanie odbywalo sie w czasie rekonwalescencji po wypadku, ktory przykul Wyatta do wozka do konca zycia, a chociaz w liryce ciezko doszukac sie bezposrednich odniesien do tych wydarzen, a sam material mial byc skomponowany dlugo przed wypadkiem, to jednak musialo to jakos wplynac na brzmienie tego nagrania, ktore mnie zdecydowanie przeroslo zarowno od strony instrumentalnej jak i liryczno wokalnej, bo jak przystalo na wyspiarza z canterbury, to uzywa on cheaky heya cunt slownictwa polaczonego z brytyjskim akcentowaniem, dodatkowo bogato posilkujac sie onometopejami, wiec rekord jest pelny jeczenia, wzdychania i wszelkich piri tiri piri tiri zwlaszcza blizniacze kawalki alife i alifib, wiec o ile nie sluchalo mi sie tego zle, a orginalnosci materialu nie mozna odmowic, to jednak sie odbilem i jedynie pierwszy trak wydaje mi sie zrozumialy, jak to bywa z lowe songami, chociaz w tym wydaniu to nietrafione okreslenie, bo chociaz kawalek o milosci, to jednak prosty nie jest, ale prosty na standardy jakie wyznaczyla plyta, ciekawe jest ze pomimo tego ze Wyatt jest glownym wokalem i gra zarwono perkusyjne fragmenty jak i klawisze, no i wynalazki pokroju kieliszkow, to jednak nie slychac go tak jak slychac muzyka rokowego, a pokazuje sie bardziej jako grajek jazzowy, moze bardziej kompozytor, bo to jednak jego aranzacje gdzie daje miejsce do popisu innym artystom, bo niektore kawalki sa wrecz zdominowane przez artystow, sesyjnych, jak w przypadku piatego utworu alife i obecnej tam saksy, na plejke dodam otwierajacy sea song, ktory jako najprzystepniejsza piosenka calego krazka jest rowniez najczesciej odtwarzanym utworem wedlug spotifaja z tej plyty

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Wed Dec 22 2021
2

Actual trash

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Sun Jan 02 2022
2

Another toothy danger

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Sun Jan 02 2022
2

i was initially going down the line of my standard check out this 70s nonce singing falsetto. but to give it some credit this is clearly some mad jazz shit and not just standard 70s wank.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
2

Interesting musically, but vocals draining

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Wed Feb 16 2022
2

Experimental but not a repeatable listen

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Thu Feb 17 2022
2

Famously composed by drummer Robert Wyatt in hospital after falling out a 3rd-story window. He's been in a wheelchair ever since. Instrumentation is pretty jazz-rock with a psychedelic edge, which I don't mind too much, but Wyatt on vocals is a non-starter for me. His soft, shitty little voice does nothing for me. This is what makes Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road easily the best song on the album for me: a nice jazz-fusion instrumental track that leans heavily into the atmospheric elements. I was hoping to get more out of this album than I did. Just seems like Wyatt had a lot of half-baked ideas where a few worked but most didn't. Combine that with poor vocal execution and you've got Rock Bottom.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
2

Overall just very odd with weird noises etc. The fact that the oddness is the only thing I remember a day later, clearly says something

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Wed Mar 16 2022
2

People have described this as experimental. I'm more in the obnoxious camp, his voice never seems to sync up with the music and is all over the place

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Fri Mar 25 2022
2

There wasn't really anything here for me. My first listen last night really rubbed me the wrong way. I gave it a second listen today on my walk and it wasn't completely repulsive to me...but much of it was.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
2

70s boring listen.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
2

When I went through a brief period of let's call it "hipsterdom" I would've been all over this. It's not a radio album. The background story is compelling. It's kinda proggy, I guess. My vocabulary fails me right now. But this just left me uninterested. The background of the album really is something but listening to this is just...eh.

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Thu May 12 2022
2

very experimental and, unfortunately, quite unpleasant to listen to

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Thu Jun 30 2022
2

Weird and experimental, but I did occasionally find myself vibing with it.

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Sun Jul 03 2022
2

Op z'n minst een speciaal album. Geen toegankelijke muziek, maar niet verschrikkelijk

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Tue Jul 12 2022
2

This album is a bit of a euphoric hot mess. So many minor chords and weird noise. Not really my thing, but sort of harmless and interesting. It seems like something composed by someone who spent too much time alone.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
2

Un début d'album extrêmement difficile pour Wyatt qui n'était pas du tout prêt au moment où le micro commença l'enregistrement. Il se démènera alors dans la panique pour limiter les dégâts et reprendre le train en marche mais cette entame catastrophique aura raison de la qualité du projet.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
2

It was ok. Just soft jazz smooth music. But I didn't like it

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Mon Aug 01 2022
2

Didn’t love it, but there was some interesting stuff on there. Might grow on me if I give it another listen.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
2

2.5 Really like to hear more of this one.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
2

Don't get it

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Thu Aug 25 2022
2

I'll start by saying I had no idea who Robert Wyatt or Soft Machine are. Both names sounded a wee bit familiar. I started reading the lyrics to the first song, Sea Song, before the music started. ugh. As I progressed into the album I thought, I'm cool with avant garde, kitsch, and dada (not to brag but I did see John Cage 4'33" in DC freshman year of college) but ugh...this brings me neither aural joy, intellectual stimulation, nor entertainment. Had I seen the album cover back in my youth, you can bet I'd have made the purchase. I love the artwork and how it makes me feel but can't say the same for the sounds produced on this record.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
2

I wanted to like this much more than I did, unfortunately.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
2

Idk delivery sucks decent day but why

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Fri Sep 16 2022
2

It’s all the parts of a prog rock album I skip.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
2

I appreciate that he was experimenting but it didn’t sound great. 4/10

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Sun Oct 09 2022
2

Sometimes, but not really.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
2

The music on this album is interesting, but it is also awfully difficult to listen to. Favorite track: Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road

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Mon Oct 24 2022
2

Strange, and oddly improvisational-sounding.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
2

Did not get this one at all.

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Sun Nov 13 2022
2

I love Shipbuilding, so was enthusiastic about listening to this album, but left bitterly disappointed. I only liked Seasong, the rest was cacophony.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
2

Rating: 5/10

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Mon May 17 2021
1

Oof. I just didn't get it at all. I rarely give out 1-star ratings because I usually find some redeeming quality, or at least one song I kind of like. But not this one. There's not one song I ever want to hear again. Not one minute of one song. This album wasn't meant for me at all. Even knowing the context of the album (it was made right after he was paralyzed after falling 4 stories); didn't help at all.

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Wed Sep 16 2020
1

oof.

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Wed Nov 04 2020
1

1974. Key Songs: Sea Song?

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Wed Jan 13 2021
1

noise

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Thu Jan 28 2021
1

Definitely not my cup of tea.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
1

trying to be experimental doesnt make you experimental

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Thu Jul 08 2021
1

Reallllly long songs that use the same elements over and over again. Too monotonous in my view.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
1

Too painful. I don’t think it was done fir art. I think he’s just shit and taking the piss out of everyone

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Sun Jun 06 2021
1

Bit weird.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
1

No thanks, this is utter cack

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Sun Mar 21 2021
1

Slow, glacial paced art rock. Best Tracks: Sea Song, A Last Straw, Alifib

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Thu Apr 01 2021
1

Maybe I missed the point but this was self indulgent, boring, hard to listen to tripe

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Fri Apr 09 2021
1

Disco rarísimo. Demasiado experimental para mí. Sonidos ambientales mezclados algunos de manera extraña, otros no. No es un álbum que le daría una segunda oportunidad.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
1

Wank. 3.4/10

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Sun Jun 13 2021
1

What the hell did I just listen to? Good for this dude for getting his stuff out on record. This shit is weird.

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Thu May 27 2021
1

Did not enjoy. In some areas it sounded like a film score without a film, but not in a good way.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
1

Not familiar with Robert except by name. Even Soft Machine, his band I am familiar with by name and reputation only. Album has 6 long songs, or are they movements or suites. I'll take them one bu one. 1st song; did not like it closer to free jazz than rock, not my cup of tea. 2nd song a little more modal in nature, enjoyed this one more. 3rd song, reminds me a little bit of Miles Davis in a Silent Way. Like this one still more. Closer to a rock sound but still more jazz than anything (not that there's anything wrong with that) 4th song; just kinda weird ...annoying organ sounds, jazzy guitar weird percussive, metronomic breathing sounds and fragile singing add up to a strange listening experience 5th song; more weirdness...a continuation of the previous song. I do like the percussion and the sax in this one. Actually much better than the previous song and perhaps my 2nd favorite so far 6th song; and the last one more of the same anti rock & roll. Just not music for my tastes 1 🌟

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Wed Aug 11 2021
1

Nope.

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Mon Sep 13 2021
1

Not my style

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Mon Sep 20 2021
1

I get that Wyatt had just suffered a major accident in life, and he was still able to continue composing and playing music. It is impressive. Unfortunately, this experimental rock is a failed experiment.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
1

Rock bottom, scratchy sax on a jazz soundscape. Urrgh.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
1

What in the God's name was that'

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Thu Nov 11 2021
1

Rock Bottom by Robert Wyatt (1974) When Robert Wyatt so self-assertingly identified (then, anyway) as a Communist (not the ‘Eurocommunist’ variety, but the hard core unreconstructed Stalinist ‘Tanky’ type), he invited an assessment of what’s beneath the apparent nonsense on this record. When confronted with innovation, a serious listener will seek to understand. This involves, at minimum, a look into the artist’s cultural context. Now, this is not a political album. It presents itself as experimental, psychedelic ‘rock’. And to be fair, I discerned two moments of beauty in the midst of all the failed experiments on this record. But what kind of over-compartmentalized mind produces these remaining sonic doodles? The listener must set aside the (totally justifiable) pity for the artist’s personal circumstances and assess why is there all this disorder? Why must simple scales be punctuated with seemingly arbitrary and certainly inconsistent atonality? (This ain’t Arnold Schoenberg or Alban Berg.) As an analogy, the same question might be posed upon viewing a Jackson Pollock painting in 1955 or Vincent Van Gogh in 1890. It’s not that it is necessarily bad art. It’s that the ‘why’ of the art is yet to be discerned. A turn to the poetry of Osip Mandelstam is instructive, on the flip side of the Stalin phenomenon. Nonsense can indeed have sublimely potent meaning. But I’m not seeing or hearing it at Rock Bottom. Why, I would ask Mr. Wyatt, is there all this chaos, all this disregard for conventional (at least) conceptions of what is good, true, and beautiful? Surely it’s not merely a Bolshevik revolutionary desire to destroy classic liberal notions of art. Surely it’s not merely Capitalist avarice. Surely it’s not a neo-Gnostic triumph of undefined spirit over matter. Surely it’s not a Socialist grab at the affirmative action brass ring. Critics are at a loss to explain this (I am not alone; and, in the interest of full disclosure, I, too, was a Communist. When I was 11. I grew out of it). One is left scratching one’s head. I really want to know. You got my attention, but briefly. Was that the point all along? 1/5

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Thu Nov 18 2021
1

Tragic story about the musician, but I didn't enjoy the music.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
1

I don't know what that was.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
1

I guess “art rock” means a total lack of anything resembling some kind of song structure, you know like a verse or chorus or even an enjoyable melody. I struggled to get through this

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