With Everyday Robots
, the first fully-realised Damon Albarn solo album, listeners are invited into his world for a genuine 'one- to-one'. The 12 songs here are the most soul-searching and autobiographical since his musical journey began.
This album is more directly personal and quite clearly about his experiences, from early childhood through to now. Ghosts of Albarn's boyhood in Leytonstone and Colchester walk hand-in-hand with reflections on life and love. He visits recent haunts including The Westway and idyllic Devon as well as pondering the trappings of our modern existence such as computer games and mobile phones as nature versus technology.
Produced by Richard Russell, the XL Recordings boss with whom Damon co-produced Bobby Womack's The Bravest Man in the Universe
, Everyday Robots
features notable guest appearances from Brian Eno, who adds synths to the richly atmospheric “You and Me” and elegant vocals to the album finale “Heavy Seas of Love”. Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) pops up with suitably dreamy backing on the “Selfish Giant”.
It's undeniable that Everyday Robots bears a strong, soulful edge to Damon's vocals and even a taste of full-blown gospel when Leytonstone's Pentecostal City Mission Church Choir swing into action on the album’s most upbeat track, “Mr Tembo” - inspired perhaps by a lifelong love of soul going back to childhood influences including Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, as well as gospel artists Mahalia Jackson and his grandfather’s Paul Robeson records.