Tag Archives: Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn – The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows Review

The Blur frontman and key piece of Gorillaz ensemble is not here to feel good. Latest album The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows is a slow and deep dive into personable and emotive languishing. Damon Albarn does it well. He has experienced the dark side and reflects on that in his latest solo album. As despondent as his artistry is, The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows is a flat yet reflective piece. It is the odd balance of maturity reflecting on the past that clashes so poorly with placated piano and string accompaniments. This is an album as dependent on the lyrical stylings of the artist as the artist is on the know-how of putting together an emotive piece.

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Starshaped Review

As the four charmless men run towards the camera, there is a sense that the memories of Blur are, well, just that. A blur. Attempting to be some cheeky, modern-day Fab Four, Starshaped presents a reality that brings them far from that allusion to Beatlemania. While they, Oasis, Pulp and Suede may have spearheaded a movement for British music that was unlike anything since the wave of 1960s masterpieces, the allusions and desires to hit the highs brought about by The Beatles were simply not possible. But Blur and the other three members of the Britpop four brought about a new wave for music. No wonder we must need and desire to pick apart their personal lives in behind-the-scenes pockets of documentary-filmmaking.

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Sorted Out for E’s and Whizz – The Final Days of Britpop

As a wave of red seats washed over England’s political map, the rise of Britpop was mounted and shouldered in by Tony Blair, at the time a youthful face of a reformed Labour Party. Whilst Blur and Oasis waged war with one another in the charts, they found clarity and similarities in their cosy attitude to Blair and his breakthrough.

If the politicisation of music has taught us one thing, it’s that it will make or break a genre. Punk worked primarily as a rage against the machine, a rebellious call to arms that The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Ramones kindled for much of the genre’s lifespan. The political piggybacking of New Labour and Britpop was a strange by-product that led to this fresh British genre’s demise. How we charged towards this point of no return is as fascinating as the eventual fallout that broke up bands, brothers, and audiences. To understand why Britpop fell apart, we first need to look at why it began.

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Gorillaz – Song Machine: Season One Review

The sudden rise and amazingly fast fall of Gorillaz fascinates me to some degree. Their self-titled debut was a superb introduction to the new sounds offered up by Blur frontman, Damon Albarn. Demon Days was even better, featuring some incredible singles that paired Albarn up with swathes of talent, the greatest of all being Shaun Ryder. After that, though, there was little of interest. Their mainstream interest waned somewhat, and I’ve not met anyone who has listened to Humanz or The Now Now, which I have listened to, and don’t recommend whatsoever. Their latest release, Song Machine: Season One, offers up a setlist of collaborations that are made in the hopes of revitalising the appeal Gorillaz once had. It doesn’t work.

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No Distance Left to Run (2010) Review

I remember the very first time I ever heard a Blur song. Once it had finished, I hoped to never hear it again. It was Parklife. Back then, I was without any doubt at all, a stupid kid. Oasis blasting out of tinny headphones, wearing chinos and horribly plain t-shirts, hair matted down in a disgracefully drab approach to unfashionable. What a horrible life that was, and although I’ve not gotten any smarter, I like to believe my music taste has improved from the “whatever was on Guitar Hero/on the radio in my Dad’s car” to “out of fashion 90s pop” and “whatever Cocker, Costello or Byrne churns out”. No Distance Left to Run piqued my interest rather rapidly in the forty minutes after I had first heard of it, a documentary looking to cover the lifespan of Blur, from beginning to end and the inevitable reunion.

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Blur – Parklive (2012) Review

If Pulp were the working-class flagbearers for Britpop, and Oasis were the over glorified, Blair supporting shit-peddlers that they most certainly are, where does that leave Blur? You’d be unsurprised to hear that they toil in the middle, and there’s no greater experience of such a theory than throughout the two-hour live show, Parklive. A pun on possibly their most popular song, Parklive is a live concert piece that sees Blur perform to thousands upon thousands of idiots as they bounce up and down throughout their 2012 Hyde Park set.

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Blur – The Great Escape (1995) Review

An unashamed Britpop fanboy, I find myself defending a genre that I still haven’t gotten the most out of. Blur, Suede, Stereophonics, even the likes of Radiohead and Black Grape, I still haven’t given them the time of day. Too busy riding the high of Pulp and mocking Oasis from time to time, I haven’t had the opportunity to experience what Britpop truly has to offer. Where else is there to start than with The Great Escape? Anywhere else would’ve been better to be fair, but this was the album I chose for myself at complete random in the spur of the moment. There’s no better way to do it.

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Gorillaz – Demon Days (2005) Review

As I broaden my musical horizons by listening solely to artists I vaguely know the name of, I find it odd that I’d put off Gorillaz for so long. Created by the fluffy haired, starry eyed Damon Albarn of Britpop’s Blur fame, it seemed right up my street. A project that transcended music itself and delved into animation and performance art, it couldn’t have come from anyone else but Albarn. Perhaps their most popular and successful album, Demon Days released in the not so distant year of 2005, and it certainly shows.

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