michael gallucci

ALBUM REVIEW — ROBBIE ROBERTSON

In album review on 03/23/2011 at 10:19 am

 

Robbie Robertson
How to Become Clairvoyant

(Macro-Biotic/429)

The last two albums by former Band member and Dylan sideman Robbie Robertson were vanity projects that explored his Native American heritage. One was even called Music for the Native Americans. So it’s nice to have him back making records with more widespread appeal. How to Become Clairvoyant is his best album in 20 years, a meditative piece on growing up and growing out. The record reflects its decade-long gestation: tracks recorded with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood give way to newer ones featuring Tom Morello, Robert Randolph, and Trent Reznor, who adds electronic hums to the spacious “Madame X.” The best songs, like “When the Night Was Young” and “He Don’t Live Here No More,” are swampy-funky peeks at past extravagances. Robertson also offers a delayed explanation about the Band’s breakup (“This Is Where I Get Off”), which, like much of Clairvoyant, sounds like a long-time coming.

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