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4.0 out of 5 stars23
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 6 April 2012
It sounds trite but... I simply love this album!!! it is smooth, diverse and stylish; there are no (obvious) lingering doubts, remorse or poison-penned prose of times gone by.... this album is a delight from beginning to end and Coxon makes full use of his own abilities as a very skilful guitarist.

Don't get me wrong, I love the dark ballads of "Crow Sit On Blood Tree", the "Sky Is Too High" and "The Kiss Of Morning", but A+E is just so dynamic, so vital and so much fun to listen to. It is a bizarre blend of styles and influences that makes every song unique, every song has it's own texture, it's own presence... Very similar in tempo to "Happiness In Magazines", this album is a very big deal indeed.

Off to listen to it again!!!
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on 5 April 2012
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).
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By any standards known to man or beast Graham Coxon's new album 'A+E'
is a fine album. These ten songs have a snarling vitality which confirm
their author's position as one of the most inventive and distinctive
musicians to have emerged from English soil in the past two decades
(and this is quintessentially English stuff to the core!) Mr Coxton's
abrasive guitar style and deadpan voice demonstrate a lineage stretching
back to the likes of The Kinks and beyond. It is a joyously energetic affair.

The integration of electonic elements in the compositions occasionally gives
a nod and a wink to our Teutonic cousins and eighties Berlin-Bowie in their
dense, layered structures (Paul Weller's recent dabblings in not dissimilar
territory also comes to mind) but the influences are worn lightly and the album
has a marvelous sense of contemporary validity and coherence from top to tail.

There really isn't a bad egg in the box but if I were forced to choose then
tracks such as 'City Hall', with its infectious pounding backbeat; 'What'll
It Take', a song saturated with juicy bubbling synth lines and a dance-friendly
boots and braces chorus; the darker, grinding industrial beats of 'The Truth'
and the hilarious bluesy post-punk shenanigans of 'Running For Your Life' are
all worthy of special mentions. A mature project from a true master of his craft.

Highly Recommended.
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on 4 May 2012
The first thing to say is that A&E is quite different to anything he's done before. The experimentalism Coxon shows here is something one would expect more from his former Blur band mate, Damon Albarn, and it is to Coxon's credit that he just about carries it off. You wouldn't know it from listening to the first track, though, that things were that different from the classic era Coxon of 2004-06. Indeed, the last track is also fairly conventional but these two tracks bookend 8 songs of experimental rock where, whilst his guitar is still prominent, the sounds Coxon produces led me to wondering whether Brian Eno was at the helm for this album (he wasn't). There is a lot synthesizer flourishes, electronic drum beats and on some tracks, Coxon's vocal is back in the mix as if to accentuate the experimentalism which drives the album. Coxon's trademark melodies and slower songs may be missing but that's not to say it's a bad thing as there is a musicality on nearly every track. It may turn some Coxon fans off but it may just attract some new ones, too.
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on 18 April 2012
A+E is very different from Coxon's previous albums and is way more rock and roll-oriented. The closest comparison I can think of in recent memory is Paul Weller, but without the softer sides of rock and with more noise and art-rock influences. The brilliant melodies and guitar work that Coxon has displayed on his previous albums is however still very much visible here.
I bought this album on vinyl and the mastering/sound is excellent, well worth the price.
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on 4 April 2012
I tried to like Graham's last album 'Spinning Top' but it was just too folky for my tastes. With this latest offering Graham is offering us the punkier guitar sound that came with 'Love Travels at Illegal Speeds' and 'Happiness in Magazine'. And although he is going back to a lo-fi sound this one is produced beuatifully and sounds a treat!
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on 16 April 2012
Well, after waiting 2 1/2 years for this album to come out, I have to say that on my first few listens, I am quite disheartened by this, there are parts that are quite exquisite, and little bits that hark back to his early blasts of talent & genious (country sad ballad man & essex dogs), and snippets of other things that I could hear; but for the most part, I couldn't help but hear Graham's own comments about blur when William Orbit took over (13 was the result - an experimental album that has excellent parts to it) "Not turning us into a pop band are you?".

BUT - I hasten to add - I am a Graham fan since the early 90's and I've seen him live & hold him in great esteem, I try to find the best in all his music, however, this A+E is proving a challenge.

Buy this if you're a fan, but as an entry point, this isn't the best snapshot into the world of Graham.
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2012 was a very good year for Blur. Performing the headline concert of the Olympics, releasing a wonderful single, Under The Westway, re-releasing all of their albums in a remastered and expanded form and generally being accepted as the legends of British music they are. 2012 also saw the release of Graham's latest album, A+E. As far as I'm concerned, it's far from the best album that Graham has ever released, but it has an experimental feel, a hard edge and a contemporary relevance to it without totally disregarding his talent for melody and creating irresistible hooks. "Seven Naked Valleys" could almost be early 70's Alice Cooper band, "Running For Your Life" has elements of Blur's spiky guitar mixed in with blues rock influenced artists such as Jack White or Band Of Skulls. Elsewhere on the album, there's electronica, punk, classic indie flavours and something to both thrill (and probably also dismay) everyone. It's far from a classic, but it's an adventurous, mature piece of work that the majority of people who have enjoyed Graham's work both solo and in Blur will hopefully enjoy. I certainly did.
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on 13 October 2015
. I just love his guitarplaying. I wish I could play like that. His singing is not as good unfortunately. but i dont really care. Not a bad track on this experimental album, which sound somewhat similar to Pavement and perhaps Sonic youth.
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on 4 May 2012
This is raw guitar music at its best ! not a bad track on the album i really cant praise it highly enough! Not listened to much of Coxon,s solo work before , but will deffo be checking more of it out !
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