Robert Wyatt, Shleep

Andy Beta

By Andy Beta

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

What does it speak of Wyatt's paternal stature in the UK prog/ art-rock scene to have Brian Eno in his employ only as a backup singer on "Heaps of Sheep"? Or for asking free music master Evan Parker to honk a dizzying soprano sax solo on the already off-kilter "The Duchess"? Throughout his sixth solo album, Shleep, Wyatt has guitarists from Roxy Music and the Jam at his disposal, each and every gent gratefully repaying their debt to Wyatt by adding gossamer leads and discreet layers to the man's ambient washes and pensive songcraft. The culminating effect is equal parts whimsy and wistfulness, mirroring the subconscious as well as the stream-of-consciousness (see his "Blues in Bob Minor"). As dreamy as such a name would suggest for that sleep-walking state.