Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Oct 28th, 2019

Robbie Roberston: Sinematic

Robbie Robertson
(UME Direct)

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The 13-songs of Robbie Roberston’s new album, Sinematic pretty much follow the ex-Band songwriter/guitarist/vocalist round his usual way of unique storytelling, barely-there vocals, and guitar dexterity. The first album from this icon in eight years delivers tunes influenced by Robertson scoring Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film, “The Irishman” and his forthcoming documentary, “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.”

The first two tunes, the heavily layered “I Hear you Paint Houses,” featuring Van Morrison-esque vocals and tight wah-wah wailing is about Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, and the synth stomp of the plodding “Once Were Brothers,” tells of Roberston dealing with the darkness of missing his bandmates.

There is a slow groove over an echoey synth line to “Hardwired,” another one where the listener needs to accept Roberston’s rather rough vocals. His guitar playing here is top-notch, though, as it is throughout, and the production on these tunes is vdeep and layered.

One of the best songs, “Let Love Reign,” a 70’s funk-like pastiche, actually sees Robertson’s voice fitting ok, with a grooving commercial chorus and the players behind him managing a fantastic groove. The sweet echoey “Wandering Souls,” and the last tune here, the fantastic ender, “Remembrance,” with its string-sounding background, guitar moaning pull-offs, and harmonica, with Derek Trucks helping out, are the two instrumentals, while the bleating metallic background and Robertson’s overly distorted guitar provides the perfect menace for another one of the best here, “The Shadow.”

Sinematic is a collection of tunes that requires multiple listens; there is a lot going on here, what one would expect from someone as talented as Roberston. We should all be glad this legend has come round again.

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Robbie Roberston: Sinematic