Robbie Robertson returned to NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night (2) to perform ‘Let Love Reign,’ the new single from his much-praised Sinematic album. He was accompanied by house band the Roots in what was his first network TV performance for eight years.
The funky rendition of the track, which namechecks John Lennon in its lyrics, featured soulful backing vocals and a horn section. The album has been widely lauded in the media, with Rolling Stone describing it as “an album of story-songs set to the sort of diaphanously blues-rock that characterises Robertson’s sleek, expansive film music…Robertson’s guitar is a voice that always rings true.”
The 13-song album contains a series of “mini-movies” fuelled by stories of villainy and vice, melancholic tales and two songs that address Robertson’s youthful dreams that led to his six-decade career. “The Band legend’s first solo album since 2011 is a blockbuster, said Mojo, while Uncut wrote that “The music sounds great, dark and ambient: a rootsy industrial palette.” Exclaim opined: “With his effortlessly cool croon, Robertson is both reflective and resolute in his storytelling over Sinematic‘s 13 tracks.
Sinematic arrives during a period of intense productivity for the Canadian rock figurehead. He has also written the music for Martin Scorsese’s crime epic The Irishman, which is now on release. The film is based on Charles Brandt’s 2004 memoir I Heard You Paint Houses, the title of which Robertson uses for one of the highlights on Sinematic, on a song featuring guest vocals by Van Morrison.
On 15 November, The Band’s groundbreaking, eponymous album of 1969 is released by Capitol/UMe in a suite of newly remixed and expanded editions for its 50th anniversary. It’s previewed by a new and substantially different alternate version of one of the album’s signature tracks, ‘Rag Mama Rag.’
Sinematic can be bought here.