This Weeks Music Video with Damon Albarn, Black Keys, Kasabian and The Franklys

Kasabian – Eez-eh

The Black Keys – Fever

Damon Albarn – Heavy Seas of Love

The Franklys – Puppet

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots Review

Amazingly, this is the great mans first solo outing with Everyday Robots which will be released tomorrow. It will be one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year when you consider the guys scale and experience from the progression of Blur, Gorillaz, Africa Express and so on. I’m sure it won’t disappoint and the fact that he’s claimed to have written around seventy tracks for this album should act as a guarantor. He still remains an unresolved character for many people who all seem to think there is something he’s not telling them or that his inner thoughts hold the holy grail of music or something. As far as I’m concerned he’s just a little reserved and would much rather speak with his music. You did get the feeling he was on to something new and different though upon releasing the title track back in January. The question now would be; has he pushed this throughout the album?

The title track is typically subdued and a little off beat, yet all so melodic at the same time. The mismatch of percussion and the eerie strings and other sounds stand side by side with Damon’s resigned, considered and nostalgic vocal. All the parts and samples are very isolated and separate from one another, yet wind together at certain points before unravelling on their own path again. It is pretty unconventional and even more so it is doing something different and see’s him utilising his imagination. Yet again it would seem we largely can’t really on the younger generations to provide anything to make you sit up and take notice and so with my eagerness for this song, there is a tinge of bleakness at why others don’t follow the example of their idols rather than copying them. ‘Lonely Press Play’ has a similar broken and mis-matched rhythm engages in a more shuffling and crisp fashion than the more wired sounds of ‘Everyday Robots’. This type of rhythm is clashed with more natural sounds from the piano and the strings and their melodic characteristics. Damon’s loose and contented vocals slot in to the song’s structure and add a gentle fluidity to the conflicting dynamics of the song. A different angle of the approach he used for the title track and with results just as worthy.

‘Hollow Ponds’ starts with softly rotating acoustic riff and a light whirring from an organ along with clasping percussion. The vocals are really focus of this track with Damon’s more narrative sound taking precedence over the simple instrumentals. These narrative tones that deliver the considered and intimate lyrics develop into the more melodic and involved bursts which he still delivers with that exasperated melody that he possesses. ‘The Selfish Giant’ has a pulse mimicking bass line with harmonious piano chords wrapped around them. Damon’s vocals are even more isolated and intimate than the last track and from this the song expands the shimming synths and samples, as well as being backed up by vocals from the brilliant Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes. The song is wonderfully subdued and tinged with a lighter and more hopeful melody. Tracks such as ‘Hostiles’ has a delicate acoustic riff tied up by Damon’s more wistful vocal but offset by clunky yet perfectly placed percussion. ‘Heavy Seas of Love’ have Albarn’s vocals given greater depth from Brian Eno’s in a track that turns a little anthemic, euphoric and optimistic. ‘Mr Tembo’ however is more like Albarn performing a Ben Howard song which is welcome in terms of the light being provided as opposed to the shade. Of course he makes it his own and makes it sound much better than it should, but it seems like very trodden ground for someone like Damon yet it’s still a good song. The album is a mysterious and subdued affair that uses methods that should leave you cold but instead radiate warmth. A lot of that has to do with his earthy and often close vocal, but he has combined conflicting elements pretty effectively. There’s one of two dips that are still very worthy tracks but on the whole hey! It is a bloody fantastic effort for a debut is it not? Haha.

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots = 8.5/10

images from consequenceofsound.net / www.thelineofbestfit.com