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A Rather Refreshing Turn Of Events
on 20 March 2007
Since the beginning of the new millenium, it has seemed like Damon Albarn has been concerning himself more and more less with Blur, after Think Tank it seemed Blur was on its last legs, and to add to the fact he was enjoying success behind a cartoon singer in Gorillaz. So in many ways Albarn has become the 'king of the side-project'.
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. It does take a while to get into, but in the end what you'll find is some beautifully crafted songs, and not to mention some pretty nifty drawings in the booklet by Simonon.
I suppose all thats left to ask is with all these successful projects, what will become Blur? Until an answer is given, here we can enjoy Albarn at the peak of his talents.