Review #77: Blur – The Magic Whip

Artist – Blur
Album – The Magic Whip (2015)

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Blur are an English rock band from London, UK. The band consist of Damon Albarn – singer/keyboardist, Graham Coxon – guitarist/singer, Alex James – bassist and Dave Rowntree – Drums. Blur became one of the most prolific Brit-pop bands to come out of this scene, due to their numerous hit songs such as ‘Country House’, ‘Parklife’ and ‘Song 2’. During the release of these earlier songs Blur also shot in the mainstream conscious due to their “feud/battle” with another Brit-pop band Oasis. In later years both bands confirmed there was no real feud between the members, just a story fabricated by their record labels and local newspapers to boost sales. Since the bands departure each member has gone off to do their own thing, Damon creating the group ‘Gorrilaz’, Graham developing his own solo career and Alex interestingly getting quite into farming and cheese. Blur formed again quite recently to play the olympics with The Specials and now release their latest album since reuniting, ‘The Magic Whip’.

The Magic Whip seems to be a culmination of Blurs previous styles and experimentation within the large range of genres they have played. From the get go ‘Lonesome Street’ gives us that parklife style vocal, sooth instrumental for certain sections like ‘tender’ and the odd but brilliant guitar style of Graham Coxon from numerous songs such as ‘There’s No Other Way’ and ‘Country House’. Although Blur were no stranger to using more electronic sounds, Damon has certainly brought his experience in this style to the bands new material, a more eclectic range of electronic sounds and further experimentation. As a guitarist Graham Coxon’s guitar playing stands out immediately, the old fuzz ridden, reversed, oddly timed, but brilliant guitar solos are back and Graham includes the riff writing which made the band memorable. My personal favourite songs have to be the intro track ‘Lonesome Street’ and ‘Go Out’.

Usually a band reuniting feels tiresome and a simple cash grab, however Blur rather than that have taken all the experience they’ve gained from their solo efforts and incorporated it into a giant mixture of innovative but familiar songs.


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