Robbie Robertson’s multi-faceted Sinematic, his first new studio album since 2011, emerged from working on two major projects ― Robertson composed the music for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film The Irishman and played a significant role in the feature documentary about his old rock group, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band. He is certainly on a roll!
Although not perfect, Sinematic is personal, moving and highly inventive. With his cool, raspy voice, edgy guitar playing and dark narratives, the listener is immersed in Robertson’s creative world. He tells us stories of mobsters in “Shanghai Blues,” dreams and doubters in “Dead End Kid” (“They said you’ll never be nothing/You’re just a dead end kid/that’s what they told me, that’s what they said”) and addresses climate change in the poetic “Praying for Rain.”
“Let Love Reign,” inspired by John Lennon, has Robertson longing for a greater future for “this beautiful broken world.” He sings about peace over a heartfelt groove: “Raising hope that tomorrow/There may be peace of mind/As world leaders take us/On a guided tour of hell/Let love reign/Let love rain down.”
Yes, Sinematic is clearly inspired by Robertson’s lifelong passion for cinema, but it delves much deeper than that. With guest appearances by Van Morrison (“I Hear You Paint Houses” is a stand-out opening track!), J.S. Ondara, Citizen Cope, Felicity Willams and Glen Hansard, Robertson has crafted an album that reveals the mysterious, weak and negative side of our human nature, with both passion and confidence throughout!