The Magic Whip
As history has it, the promise of a shiny new world embodied by zippy Blairesque ideals, alas, went oh-so-terribly wrong, and has left humanity in this bloody twenty-first century mess. And who but Blur could return to assess the damage? Indeed, The Magic Whip opens with Damon Albarn sneering “Whadda you got? / Mass-produced in somewhere hot.” (Oh, how we missed those snarky globalization invectives!) The boys were even thoughtful enough to bring along the tunes, should you care to wiggle whilst Blighty burns amidst political squabbles and clashing egos.
Albarn himself is at his cheeky old poetic best on “There Are Too Many of Us,” layering sly but unsettling metaphors over thoughtful meditations on contemporary banality. And for all the eerie sonic Eno-isms here, the group does indulge us with a Britpoppy wink and a nod or two, with the jauntily obstreperous “Go Out” and “I Broadcast.” The infectious “Lonesome Street” actually could have been penned on a napkin in 1993 at the classic Britpop pub The Good Mixer, but The Magic Whip is far from Parklife 2015. Rather, it is a deeply pensive and ruminative work—albeit one with more hooks than a slaughterhouse—for these times that demand nothing less. Modern life, indeed, has turned out rather rubbish. This is the full report.