- Audio CD (22 Jan. 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Single
- Label: EMI
- ASIN: B000IAZ3E0
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,997 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
The Good, The Bad & The Queen Single
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Good The Bad & The Queen ~ Good The Bad & The Queen
If Damon Albarn has the one talent worth recognising, it's that he knows to surround himself with the right people. In his continued quest to shed the redundant image of Damo The Britpop Clown for something more serious, eclectic and influential, the danger that there isn't really enough of him to go around his various projects is constantly present. But in a masterstroke of staging that's never the primary concern. In Gorillaz he aligned himself with the cutting edge, wrapped himself in crayoned-on clothing and took the plaudits as his collaborators made the star turns. But he remained the natural and necessary constant. The Good, The Bad & The Queen (a one-off production rather a proper band, apparently) is an extension of that template, but feels more like Damon's show.
The distractions this time are Clash legend Paul Simonon, who prowls the shadows watching Damon's back, building a strong dub bass back-bone, and Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen whose contributions are subtle but efficient. Oh, and Damon's session player of choice Simon Tong, formerly of The Verve. Together they weave a diverse, often beguiling and generally sombre strand of London-based woe, occasionally lifted by the intrinsic hope of the music like on the swelling sun-rise anthem "Herculean". The songs rarely kick through as with Blur and Gorillaz, instead retaining a steady quality and ambience, lead by Albarn's Small Faces-esque piano foundation, but "80s Life" and "Behind The Sun" are real highlights. --James Berry.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The Good, the Bad and the Queen is a loose, lingering experience shot through with grandiose messages and gorgeous melodies. It's London's dirty dozen compiled from the dark heart of a city unsure of itself after the Iraq War and the gathering gloom of terrorism and evnvironmental catastrophe.
It's a slow-burning, suggestive album that creeps up on you rather than hits you between the eyes but eventually it triumphs into a deep, intimate piece of work that demands attention and multiple listens.
Albarn has come a long way from the shiny happy Blur days to the current status of dark star but this growth and development has been nothing short of stunning. The Good, The Bad and The Queen is up there with his best work and has a wisdom and craftiness about it that it ultimately joyful and rewarding.
Okay, the band technically has no name, but for purposes of clarity, I'm going to call it by their debut's name. But even without a name, this astoundingly vibrant group creates one of the best albums of the year this far -- a scintillating, gritty concept album, full of weariness and ennui.
It kicks off with a slow ponderous acoustic guitar, which slowly melts into a dark web of organ, keyboard and electric guitar. "A ship across/The estuary/Sundays lost/In melancholy," music legend Damon Albarn murmurs in his low, softly rough voice. "A storm of strings/Far away/The hangers on/Saved the day...."
That was just the buildup to the songs that follow, focused on life in London today -- thoughtful, confused, melancholy, but with a bit of hope. The songs flow alog like a rive, intertwined but distinct -- mostly slow-moving rockers wrapped in ringing and shimmering synth, plinking piano, gritty bass and little zips of sound, like dark threads.
I'm assuming Albarn and Co. wanted this to have a sort of haunted urban feel, like someone walking through London's night streets and musing on what he sees. It's that extra depth that takes "The Good, The Bad and the Queen" from a great album to a magnificent one, themed around the bittersweetness of life in modern London.
The Verve's Simon Tong and the Clash's Paul Simonon weave their ringing guitars and slightly fuzzed bass into deep, intertwined melodies, backed by some solid subtle drums by Tony Allen. Finally there's some some ripples of organ, sweeping violins, plinky piano, and undulates of dark synth.Read more ›
Now for The Good, The Bad and The Queen, depending on your view, this can be seen as either as a solo project or a super group. Even the fact that the moniker the band had been given was not officially the group's name can make slightly misleading. Nevertheless with players such as the Verve's Simon Tong, Africa 70's Tony Allen and The Clash's Paul Simonon, it might as well be a supergroup.
But unlike say Audioslave's debut, Albarn's new project becomes more of a showcase for his latest songs, which is not bad in any way. In fact, this is probably the best stuff he's written since Parklife. Although, it must be stated the lyrical content is much more melancholy than what he sung about in 1994, which is understandable for some one who is approaching middle age. Instead nearly every song here is about the enjoyments of life and how we are blessed to be allowed this chance, with occasional war references.
The music takes on a more operatic style here, which now when I look at the 19th century cover, its easy to see where Albarn was heading with this project. Of course, produced by Danger Mouse (I swear that guy will be producing records in the afterlife) there are some hints of Gorillaz in here.
Stand out tracks include the beautiful 80's Life, the suprisingly catchy Kingdom of Doom, the life affirming Behind The Sun and the war poem A Soldier's Tale.Read more ›
This is very much an album album - not a few singles and some filler - which is why it is best viewed as a whole. Its mood is sombre but it is given levity by the lightness and subtle dynamism of the production - from the Spanish guitar of The History Song to the shimmering electronics of Herculeum. There is also some fine whistling (really!) and some Enio Morricone guitar (unsurprisingly considering the name of the project) mixed into to its oppressive vision of morning-after-the-night-before metropolitan life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If your a Blur listener then you'll probably get something out of this.
Recommended if you liked Damon Albarns solo record. Read more
Give it a chance. Few listens and hooked. Atmospheric chill out at its very best I'd sayPublished 11 months ago by Mr. Dw Quaye
What a great album, northern whale , by far the best play, the others just as good, so powerful this album, damon Albarn is quite a genius, my favourite album I have bought on... Read morePublished 17 months ago by baz
Catchy after a couple of plays. It was a gamble because I wasn't sure about this one - but a gamble that paid-offPublished 18 months ago by Robert Bullen
Well, when I first listened to it in the car I nearly chucked it.
But I'm glad I persisted - it has grown on me - it's now my favourite album purchase of recent... Read more