Published on April 28, 2014 | by Thomas Andrei0
Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots
Damon Albarn’s latest solo album was released April 28th via XL Recordings. Here is our review of Everyday Robots, featuring countryside ballads and modern loneliness.
Damon Albarn’s latest LP is called Everyday Robots. Indeed, it talks about the loneliness in modern society, the isolation of a rich kid living between London and the countryside, but also much more than that.
Everyday Robots sounds both like the rain on the pavement and wet wood. It’s half a walk on the Millenium Bridge on a cloudy day, half a drive down a country road at the twilight.
Leisure, Blur’s debut album was released twenty-three years ago. And you can hear in the record that Damon has been around the music industry for that long. While the first almost-trip-hop single, Everyday Robots could easily be a Gorillaz song, the sunny Mr. Tembo could be on a Blur LP. The rest, including the splendid Lonely Press Play is more The Good, The Bad & The Queen-like. It is actually an even better, more mature version of Damon’s 2007 project, freed of the costumes and grandiloquence required for a history concept album.
Lonely Press Play’s video tells the story of the Damon on the cover of the album. A modern forty-six years old dude traveling too much, taking selfies in Japan and feeling constantly alone. It also features some remarkable product placement for among others, Heineken.
The superb The Selfish Giant, with Natasha Khan from Bat For Lashes You & Me featuring Brian Eno and Hollow Ponds are in the same vein. About the last one, Albarn told xfm it represented his entire life since 1976. Apparently a life by the Black Sea, filled with horses and passing trains built around an acoustic guitar and some brass.
While the BBC were busy celebrating the twentieth birthday of the BritPop, Damon Albarn proves to the world on this record that he is, by far, the most talented songwriter of his era. Richard Ashcroft has disappeared, Noel Gallagher makes buffy music with only one great single on his album, and Jarvis Cocker makes commercials for the Eurostar.
In 2014, as he still seems to think modern life is rubbish, Damon has never been so elegant and touching.