As a snapshot of the world in 2007, Comicopera takes some beating. Generous and expansive in scope and vision, it embraces songs from Italy, Spain, Norway and Cuba, and musicians from Brazil, Israel and Columbia, while casting its gaze on dead rabbits, fading widows, unfaithful lovers, gleeful bombers and the furious bombed. If the album has a rough-around-the-edges, askew quality, that just makes it more fascinating: this isn't music that settles in the background. Indeed, the opening song, Stay Tuned, is narrated by "particles in the air", Robert Wyatt's voice yearning among layers of pulsing, static-charged sound. The mood shifts restlessly: mournful then wry, serene then seething, one moment it conjures up genial pictures of bustling humanity, the next explodes with rage at the Iraq war. Wyatt himself is the first to admit that a concept album about searching for connections and meaning in today's world could be considered pretentious, but listening to it, you wish more people shared his spirit and ambition.
CD: Robert Wyatt, Comicopera