8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
'Happiness... in a post- Blur world',
This review is from: Happiness In Magazines (Audio CD)
Graham Coxon's fifth solo release, (his second since leaving Blur) reflects his capabilities as an adept songwriter as well as guitarist. Lyrically, Coxon paints a variety of pictures; a disillusioned onlooker passing comment on the world from outer space (the vitriolic rant of 'People of the Earth') and 'Spectacular's' homage to an Internet fantasy. Strangely, the following track 'No good time' sounds very Pete Townshend- esque, but I'm not one for making cheap links.
Graham's latest single, 'Bitter-sweet Bundle Of Misery' is, for all intensive purposes, 'Coffee and TV' Mark II. Whilst the chorus could be written by any love struck teenager- "You're beautiful/ I love to watch your face in the morning light/ You're really cool/ I like the way we fight/ right through the night", its beauty is in its simplicity. 'Freakin' Out', by far and away one of the year's best singles, is pure pop-punk with riffage to tempt even the most self-conscious into air guitar. Though it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Skids 1978 anthem 'Into the Valley', it still sounds fresher in 2004 than most of this year's releases.
Elsewhere, the emphatically maudlin 'Are You Ready' bears all the tremolo-laden hallmarks of THAT Urge Overkill song; with Coxon's soft estuary drawl working surprisingly well over a bed of Bond-style orchestration and Spanish guitar. 'Bottom Bunk', an ode to an imploded sex life, could easily fit onto Parklife, whilst with 'Don't Be A Stranger', Coxon rewards his psychiatrist with one of the catchiest tunes on the album.
'Happiness...' demonstrates Coxon's 70s punk influences and there is much scope for the kind of axe-wielding that Damon Albarn would surely have clamped down upon in the past. Then again, this is not a Blur record, and that is not, it is fair to say, necessarily a bad thing.