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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, beautiful and absorbing!
This is a completely different approach to music from Damon Albarn. This is not pop or rock, but more like Elizabethan madrigal. It's a rather mystical record harking back to the spirit of old England and the days of magick, mystery, and spirits in the water. The production is excellent and the songs feature an interesting selection of musical instruments and voice. The...
Published on 13 May 2012 by David Lusher

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprised with what I got
I bought this yesterday in store as I loved Albarns work, his stuff with blur was amazing as was his stuff with Gorillaz, the Good the Bad and the Queen was also a great project, knowing he had just bought out everyday robots I decided to buy this as it was cheap and see what his solo albums sounded like. It was not clear from the packaging that this was an opera, so I...
Published 5 months ago by Jeez


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, beautiful and absorbing!, 13 May 2012
By 
David Lusher (London England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
This is a completely different approach to music from Damon Albarn. This is not pop or rock, but more like Elizabethan madrigal. It's a rather mystical record harking back to the spirit of old England and the days of magick, mystery, and spirits in the water. The production is excellent and the songs feature an interesting selection of musical instruments and voice. The one issue I do have with this is Damon's voice. At times it's plaintive and beautiful, but I would say this music requires a clearer, purer voice than he has. It's a fairly solid performance, but at times it just does not fit the mood or atmosphere being created. Having said that, this is a wonderful set of well-crafted and delicate songs. I wonder what younger listeners will make of it, particularly if they are expecting pop! This is a special and unusual record and Damon is to be congratulated for having the spirit and adventurousness in putting this together. I gather this music will support a stage production and, if that is the case, then I'd love to see it. This music would be a wonderful experience live. Interesting, different, not too challenging, atmospheric, beautiful and absorbing. How many albums released these day can deliver that in one sitting? Buyers will be taking a chance buying this album, but it's a chance well worth taking. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best LP of 2012, 12 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
This only took three listens to become my LP of 2012. I have listened obsessively to it since I bought it and I still can't get over how utterly brilliant it is. Damon Albarn's muse is a thing of wonder as is his genius for combining seemingly unconnected musical ideas into a coherent whole.

The composer this most reminds me of is Benjamin Britten; the sparing accompaniment, rich wordplay, daring soundscapes and ethereal steely melodies.

Albarn could easily have turned in a 'Merrie Englande' exercise in mock folk and Morris tunes but it he resists and finds something entirely new, fusing gentle harp, piano, recorder and acoustic guitar.

'Cathedrals' is exquisitely poised and beautiful, 'Edward Kelley' is as unhinged as the character the song is about. '9 Point Star' is chilling and 'O Spirit, Animate Us' is modern classical music at its best. Lyrically it flashes between the 16th century and modern day mixing in alchemy, two Elizabeths and WWII fighters, and it works.

It's not Blur, Gorillaz, or any other Albarn project - it's a stand alone and simply brilliant, a totally immersive world all of its own.

The man is clearly a genius.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully recorded and performed, 10 May 2012
By 
John W. Edelman - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
In a way a natural successor to 2007's, The Good, The Bad and The Queen, in fact this feels like its ancestor. This is a largely acoustic, and in many places orchestral, suite of wonderful tunes and songs. The preview track, Apple Carts- until recently available free on Amazon- is a one of the standout, stand alone songs, but this a piece designed to be listened to in its entirety and if you can bring yourself to commit to the hour or so required you will be rewarded in spades. There are choral pieces, apparent samples lifted from ancient records and even more ancient musical instruments at times and then suddenly on Preparation and 9 Point Star there are what appear to be African drums. Although rooted in the Elizabethan era of the Doctor of the title there are a number of tunes that could have been included on The Good, The Bad, minus the thumping bass lines of course(not that they were at all unwelcome on that wonderful album).
Damon's beautifully melancholic voice is the cement of this album, of course, but the voices on display here are many, varied and at all times wonderful.
I love this recording, it's fascinating and different. This is music to immerse yourself in. I'm writing this review during my first listen but I already know this is going to be one I will return to again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprised with what I got, 12 May 2014
This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
I bought this yesterday in store as I loved Albarns work, his stuff with blur was amazing as was his stuff with Gorillaz, the Good the Bad and the Queen was also a great project, knowing he had just bought out everyday robots I decided to buy this as it was cheap and see what his solo albums sounded like. It was not clear from the packaging that this was an opera, so I was disappointed when I found out it was.

However I do not know a vast amount about opera as it is my least favourite kind of music, and Damans voice in the album is great with some soft melodic tunes, only occasionally going into the high pitched cliche opera.

So although it should be much clearer as to what this is, I didn't dislike it as much as I expected I would.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mes-meric, 17 Aug 2012
By 
A. Foster (bolton, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
Who would have thought it could have got better than Gorillaz? Well it did... has... - via opera! Dr Dee... "animatum". Who needs Bowie. I am living at a time of genius... revised... revisited... returned... animatum.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply brilliant, 12 July 2012
This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
If you're expecting to hear a continuation of Blur or Gorillaz think again. If you are looking for instant gratification you will not find it here. However, delve deeper and you will discover a magnificent curve ball, a folk opera that is arcane, melancholy and exceptionally well written. You can sense the wistful gaze into the past right through the album. It is magnificently atmospheric. Respect is mandatory. Damon Albarn is a musical genius.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Henry Purcell Part 2, 17 July 2014
This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
I have been a huge Damon Albarn fan ever since I heard Girls and Boys when it first came out as a single. I have since regarded him as one of the great musical geniuses of all time. Having said that, I feel I am able to be objective in my assessment of him. For example, I consider Blur's albums to be a mixture of genius and very average stuff; the Gorillaz albums to be great work mixed with even more average stuff; and Damon's solo work I feel has been marred by some very forgettable releases.

Dr Dee is not one of them. I love music that is experimental, melodic and beautiful, but above all I love music that doesn't play it safe. Dr Dee is anything but safe. A lot of people will find this a difficult album to enjoy. It doesn't tick any of the standard boxes for mass market consumption and would get no where with a judging panel that normally sits on Idol or any other talent show. If I had to describe the style I guess I could say that if you're at all familiar with the work of Henry Purcell, then you could safely regard Dr Dee as 'Henry Purcell Part 2'. Clearly, Damon was copying Purcell's work, while at the same time adding a modern freedom of expression in its challenging styles and experimentation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Dee, by Damon Albarn., 8 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
Hearing this album, which is heavily influenced by the period in which Dr. Dee lived, made me want to look up the life and works of Dr. Dee, and subsequently, Edward Kelley. This is a period of history which has been swept under the carpet, and only touched on in schools. It isn't a good history, but it is part of the development of scientific discovery we understand today. All the same, it is a brilliant album, and well done, Damon Albarn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 25 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
Best record, totally another different world taking different sounds, as the opera did.
The product was in good conditions and arrived fast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What the?, 7 Jan 2013
By 
Mr. A. P. Jennings (Berkhamsted, Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr Dee (Audio CD)
Intriguing mixture of sounds, vaguely Elizabethan (or what I think Elizabethan music would sound like having watched films, etc set in the period), classical and jazzy. Some short pieces some longer, none outstaying their welcome. I don't think I'm missing out on anything with just the music from the opera rather than the whole performance. Probably not a Saturday night party record but definitely something for a lazy sunday afternoon.
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