Boomkat Product Review:
Representing another career high, 1997's Shleep stands as one of Robert Wyatt's most elaborate yet accessible albums, featuring a stellar cast of players (Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, Paul Weller, Evan Parker and Annie Whitehead among others) and some truly beautiful arrangements, dampening down some of the quirks that tend to characterise Wyatt albums.
This is probably attributable to the extremely collaborative nature of Shleep, meaning that initial spark of weirdness and off-kilter creativity diminishes somewhat as it passes through the hands of Wyatt's accompanists. The heightened sense of organization and structure has its benefits though, lending a real sense of warmth and consistency to the album's flow. Even the stranger moments - such as 'The Duchess', with its wailing, articulate soloing from Parker, and Wyatt's mumbled surreal lyrics - seem to be framed within the realms of comparative normality, with a swinging rhythm section and sturdily repetitious piano chord sequence. Recommended.