Britpop gods Blur return with The Magic Whip, their first album since 2003’s Think Tank. The album, the product of a single five day session in a Hong Kong recording studio is affected as much by both Albarn and Coxon’s solo work and the Gorrilaz, and lends to an interesting mix of old and new, and it mostly works. Lonesome Street is evocative of the band circa Parklife, complete with old school scratchy guitar and “woo, woos,” whilst tracks like Pyongyang evoke the feeling of a cold, dystopian future with synths and beeps overlaid guitars eliciting feelings of melancholy, and translocation in an unfamiliar country. The album feels like a return to form for the band, and now they’ve reformed for what might be one last jam for old time’s sake. If this is their swan song, you couldn’t ask for more.
Originally printed in Issue #321 of Kirkby Extra, June 2015.
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.