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available in a digipak for the very first time. cuckooland, robert wyatt's first full-length of new material since 1997's 'shleep', is no less mischievous, witty, and poignant. as has become his custom, wyatt offers a set of 16 new songs seemingly composed for a wide array of musicians including annie whitehead, eno, david gilmour, tomo hayakawa, karen mantler, phil manzanera, paul weller, and others he enlisted to record it. the album is divided into two halves. the first eight selections being 'neither here...' while the last eight are 'nor there...'. what divides the halves are in wyatt's mind and aesthetics alone, as the album feels like a seamless, unified whole. from the opener, 'just a bit,' a dastardly yet delightful bit of cynicism directed at organized religion and new age phoniness, the listener hears wyatt in good humour with razor-sharp political sensibilities, and in fantastic musical form. the songs on 'cuckooland' are, in many ways, the most accessible he's written since 'nothing can stop us'. here, on cuts like 'old european', one of five collaborations with poet alfreda benge, wyatt's wife, french salon music, smoky jazz from the cool jazz era, bossa rhythms, and anglo melodies entwine in a bewitching nocturnal pop song. others, such as 'beware', one of a pair of writing collaborations with karen mantler - who contributed two more fine songs written for wyatt's set - feature the strident harmonics of post-millennial jazz as it intersects in dialogue with pop forms from the ancient to the future. wyatt's reading of ms benge's 'lullaloop' is a gorgeous, wooly bit of swinging new orleans jazz, shot through with weller's bluesy, distorted, electric guitar solo and big, wondrous trombones by whitehead.