The now-62-year-old Robert Wyatt releases albums so infrequently that each one is an event, even if only to his dwindling cult of devotees. On Comicopera, Wyatt holds to the approach he's developed over his past few records, assembling an eclectic rock orchestra capable of shifting between pop, jazz, blues, and world beat, following the path laid out by his stream-of-consciousness songwriting. The instrumental "Anachronist"—a brass-band lament with Beach Boys overtones—could double as a description of the way Wyatt pieces together styles that don't match, as though dreaming the history of popular music and getting the details wrong. The combination of steel drums and muted big-band horns in "On The Town Square," the bedsit version of chamber music on "A.W.O.L.," the way Wyatt uses his voice like a Miles Davis horn solo in "You You" …really, all of Comicopera rolls deliriously over pillowy layers of sound.

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