Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975)
Highlighting Wyatt’s interests in township arrangements and ensemble playing, made explicit by calling a track ‘Team Spirit’, RISTR inverts the inward meditations of Rock Bottomoutwards. The result is a set that startles with its rhythmic instinct and shape shifting composition. Drawing on both Wyatt’s breezy way with a time signature, and his ability to use his voice as a truly resonant instrument, the record contains not so much songs as abstract chamber pieces that bathe and unfurl in a warmth and stillness of their own.
As on Rock Bottom something in Wyatt’s character clearly inspires his contemporaries to play to their unknown strengths when collaborating with him, the result is an album of linear life-affirming pop experimentation.