Robbie Robertson – Sinematic

Review Robbie Robertson – Sinematic

The Canadian rock musician Robbie Robertson has something of a celestial body wandering through the galaxy, captured in the gravitational field of our sun, flying past the earth here and there and glowing in the night sky. We typically see it every few years. Also, every few years the guitarist, singer and songwriter Robbie Williams provides us with a new solo album, currently with the sixth album Sinematic. In view of his advanced age of 76 years and his already decades-long career, this yield of own albums is rather meager. This is not due to a relaxed lifestyle with lots of free time, but rather to the fact that Robbie Robertson, who made a name for himself as a member of Bob Dylan's The Band in the sixties, is very successful in his second life as a film music composer, most recently for Martin Scorsese's gangster strip The Irishman. The sinister mood of The Irishman has obviously left its mark on Sinematic: With "I Hear You Paint Houses" Robbie Robertson intones the velvety soft swan song on a bloodthirsty mafia killer and a Chinese mafia boss is the subject of the "Shanghai Blues". This mafioso is a historical figure, the leader of the "Green Gang", who dominated the opium, gambling and prostitution business at the beginning of the twentieth century. And so, the album is generally about the dark sides of society and above all about its criminal exponents.

Variety and colorfulness benefit Sinematic through the participation of prominent musicians with different vocal characteristics, such as Van Morrison, Glen Hansard, Citizen Cope, Derek Trucks, Jim Keltner or Howie B. These gentlemen are obviously delighted to take part in the gloomy mood of this album, whose eleven songs are by Robbie Robertson, whose brilliant guitar playing provides the horrendous mood of the album. Once Were Brothers" deviates from this mood, a song dedicated to The Band's long elapsed time, whose typical instrumentation with harmonica and organ conjures up the conflict-laden time determined by the Vietnam War and marked by civil resistance.

Robbie Williams himself best describes what drove him to produce Sinematic: "I was working on the music for 'The Irishman' and the documentary 'Once Were Brothers: ROBBIE ROBERTSON and The Band' - which was supposed to color and influence each other. I could see a clear direction: Song ideas that circled gripping, violent but also beautiful themes joined together - like in a film. One follows a sound until everything sits, everything takes on a tangible form in one's own ears... At some point I even started to call it 'Peckinpah Rock'."

With Sinematic Robbie Williams has succeeded in creating a Gesamtkunstwerk that is worth dealing with. It remains to be hoped that he will delight the world of rock music with further albums in the quality of Sinematic, just like the celestial body wandering through the galaxy and shining up time and again in the earth's field of vision.

Robbie Robertson, vocals, guitar
Pino Palladino, bass
Derek Trucks, guitar
Frédéric Yonne, guitar
Doyle Bramhall II, guitar
Jim Keltner, drums
Chris Dave, drums
Van Morrison, vocals
Glen Hansard, vocals
Citizen Cope, vocals
J.S. Ondara, vocals
Laura Satterfield, vocals
Howie B., DJ, producer
Martin Pradle, keyboards
Felicity William, vocals
Afie Jurvanen, guitar, backing vocals

Robbie Robertson – Sinematic

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