Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots (Parlophone) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, May 24th, 2024  

Damon Albarn

Everyday Robots


Apr 28, 2014 Damon Albarn Bookmark and Share

It’s hard to believe 20 years have passed since Britpop turned the U.K.‘s music scene on its head. In the following two decades, many of the movement’s mainstays have either accepted defeat and returned to their day jobs or tried to rekindle their burned-out careers through shambolic reunions.

Yes, it’s safe to say the passage of time has not been kind to many of Britpop’s protagonists. But in the case of Damon Albarn, the ticking clock has proved rather more sympathetic. Since his Parklife days, the almost-former Blur frontman has transformed from hedonistic indie kid into a brilliant musical visionary with a Midas touch to rival Pharrell.

While his Gorillaz venture will likely be the most commercially successful years of his career, he’s since worked with a spectrum of musicians from across the globe, creating a swath of boundary-pushing sounds. Oddly, in all that time, he’s only now got round to releasing his first solo albumbut given the breadth and scale of Everyday Robots, the wait was more than worth it.

Creaking to an ever-present shuffle of melancholic beats and elaborate effects, this album is as horizon-hopping as we’ve come to expect from someone who can mingle as freely with hip-hop royalty as he can with Mali folk artists. Yet, where in the past he’s chosen to retain an element of distance from listeners, the deeply emotive mosaics such as “Hollow Ponds” or the majestic “Lonely Press Play” are as frank and confessional as Albarn’s been in years. And they’re all the better for it.

Musically, there’s an intelligence that extends way beyond the churning indie anthems of Albarn’s youth. “Photographs (You Are Taking Now)” is a subtle slow burner that’s almost untraceable until its tender keys are caressing the inside of your ear canals. Likewise, the gospel-tinted “Heavy Seas of Love”one of two collaborations with Brian Enocomes across as an achingly simple lament, belying the complex tapestry of twinkling melody that sits beneath.

After 20 years it seems strange to say, but Damon Albarn may finally have put the ghosts of his Britpop past to rest. Woo hoo indeed. (www.damonalbarnmusic.com)

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 8/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.