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Old 05-02-2014, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
constantlybored's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Bedfordshire, England
Posts: 10
Default Everyday Robots - Damon Albarn

Warning, I'm new to this malarkey, so this review may well be awful. I think I overdid the background, but hey. I also ran out of time, so sorry I missed off the last few songs.

Damon Albarn. This is his third venture into the music industry, after mainstream success with both Blur and Gorillaz. It may have taken him 3 years to finally get the album out, but now it's out and expected to knock Paolo Nutini off of the top of the chart. After announcing the album in September 2011 (yes, nearly 3 years ago), he announced it would be a 'folk and soul' album in an interview with Rolling Stone. Albarn said 'I suppose you could call it a solo record, but I don't like that word. It sounds very lonely solo. I don't really want to be solo in my life. But yeah, I'm making another record,' in an interview with NME. It was made official in January, when Universal added the album to their store. Albarn is using an interesting, but risky tactic of making the album available for free streaming, with the album only available for download after purchase. Albarn recorded the album over a 2 year period, with a total of 4 studio changes, and one time crossing the Atlantic. And to be honest, there is too much on the Wiki article for me to consider skim reading it.

Albarn used bizarre videos to promote his new album, and I really don't understand how they make you want the album. But, then again, most advertising campaigns are like that. He also performed 'Lonely Press Play' at Sundance, and for Dermot O'Leary (overrated), both of which are a damn sight better at promoting your music than some cryptic videos. And, to be fair, Albarn has made a lot of public performances to promote the album, so he's doing most of the promoting right. This year, Albarn has released 5 singles already, all of them failing to chart. This is probably down to the fact his album isn't even out yet, and he's released FIVE SINGLES off of it. All together, the album has been given generally high reviews, however it is yet to be given full marks by any major reviewer.

Albarn's album starts with the title track, Everyday Robots. The track shows off great mixing, and deep, meaningful lyrics. It helps start the album on the right track, with a song that could really complement almost any playlist. Hostiles offers a very similar sound, but less sampling and more of Albarn's instrumentation. The lyrics offer less to think about, but are still brilliantly written. Lonely Press Play starts with an unusual sound, but more varying vocals from Albarn. Dr Tembo offers a brilliant melody, completely different from the first 3 tracks. The vocals are more reminiscent of his Gorillaz era as well. It's a song that would very much suit a few decades back, with catchy lyrics similar to much released in the 80's etc. Short filler track, Parakeet, is the quirkiest track even though it only lasts 43 seconds. The Selfish Giant is a slow, calming song with beautiful lyrics. It could well be the best track on the album. You And Me is the longest track on the album, and yet again, beautifully written. It's another completely understated song, with the instrumentation you will have come to recognise by this point. Hollow Ponds has a bit more of a dark sound to it, almost depressing. It again follows familiar sounds from across the rest of the album. I ran out of time to listen to the rest.

All in all, a good album. Well-written, unique and quirky. It didn't show enough variation for me, but that's personal opinion.

RATING: 82/100
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