Album Review: ROBBIE ROBERTSON Contact from the Underworld of Redboy

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ROBBIE ROBERTSON

Contact from the

Underworld of Redboy

(Capitol 854 2432)

Robbie Robertson, like Madonna, has turned to British technicians for help on his latest album. But he has a firmer grasp on notions of his identity and place in the universe, so there's nothing vague or uncertain about this disc, on which his Native American Indian background is brought into fruitful collusion with the modern world.

Robertson has blended Indian rhythms and Native singers like Joanne Shenandoah and Rita Coolidge with his own guitar and vocals, and the studio treatments and grooves of such producers as Marius De Vries and Howie B. The results are diversely astounding, some of the best work he's done since The Band.

It all adds up to a rare opportunity, as Robertson puts it in the track "Rattlebone", to go "off the map, out past the power-lines, up that little side-road without a sign", and find how close to home it all seems.

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