Graham Coxon is in a fairly unique position. He's the guitarist for one of the biggest bands of the last twenty years at the same time as being something of an indie-rock, cult hero. A situation not unlike one of Coxons heros, Syd Barrett. I'm a big fan of all of his solo albums and would reccommend any of them if you're new to his stuff (check out the 'Goldan D' for Coxon in full-on punk mode, 'Crow Sit on Blood Tree' for a mix of dark folk and the occational 100mph rock song and 'The Kiss of Morning' for some beautiful heartbreakers)....
His last album, 'The Spinning Top' saw Graham dive head-first into his love of all things Nick Drake and John Martyn; this time couldn't be more different. The acoustic shades of 'The Spinning Top' have been replaced with Grahams trademark electric-guitar wizardry; some tracks definately cover new ground though. 'City Hall' embraces a krautrock influence and feeds it through Grahams punk-pop know-how while 'Running for your Life' is Coxon at his off-the-wall best. The dance-inducing 'What'll it Take' uses repitition to its advatage as Graham repeatedly asks, "what'll it take to make you people dance!?" while 'Knife in the Cast' could be a beautifully strange and lethargic Blur b-side cira the self-titled album. Most of the album is incredibly energetic though; just listen to the aforementioned 'Running for your Life'.
Overall A+E is a noisy, exciting, ridiculous and throughly entertaining listen. His most popular album so far, 'Happiness in Magazines' while undeniably great at times sounded more like a Blur album than a Graham Coxon one but 'A + E' is pure Coxon; eccentric, awkward, kinda angry and kinda cheeky. And that's a very good thing indeed!
The DVD extras are pretty sweet too, the live footage shows what an exciting performer he is and there's some explanations for some of the songs (seems a lot of these one's came from improv's).