Blur – The Magic Whip
Published by JB on April 26, 2015
Can we not compare their legacy to Oasis – just one time please?
The Magic Whip – Blur’s first album in Damon Albarn’s post-Gorillaz life is the catchy, sleek, head-bobbing, idiosyncratic collection we all expected. It’s most surprising aspect is how un-surprising it actually is. It’s everything we thought it would be, and precisely just that. Nothing more. We could take these tracks, one by one, and carefully place them on many of Albarn’s other projects (and many prior Blur albums). A band dissipates for 12 years and we expect otherworldly innovation to come from that, right? Well, not here.
Soon-to-be-arena pleasers like ‘There Are Too Many of Us’ and “Lonesome Street” are just a couple of the quasi-singles that groove and sway with the best of classic Blur. Looking for more evidence that Albarn is still on his ‘A’ game? Try ‘Ghost Ship’ on your headphones and the simplicity of Albarn’s delivery (and the magnetism he still bleeds vocally) is in your face for five fabulous minutes.
None of this good news indicates any reasonable optimism that for the first time Blur may actually have an impact on US airwaves. In a sad world dominated by post-American Idol remakes and retreads a premier talent such as Albarn (with classic Blur) is nothing more than a dirty little secret that we read about on the internet. Even the striking Beatles-esque ‘Ong Ong’ wouldn’t catch a sniff up against the release of a Foo Fighters B-side. It’s a sad world, I know.