Album Review

Blur - The Magic Whip

Sixteen years from their last album as a four piece, Blur’s big comeback is a week-long-wonder.

Blur - The Magic Whip

Be honest, nobody expected there to actually be another Blur album. Sixteen years since their last as a four-piece (1999’s ’13’), twelve since ‘Think Tank’ and its bittersweet closer ‘Battery In Your Leg’ - none of the signs were especially great. There’d been the big comeback, a triumphant jaunt from Colchester Railway Museum to the Main Stage of Glastonbury celebrating one of Britain’s very best bands. There’d been the second coming, with that last night in Hyde Park in the summer of 2012. There’d even been the odd spark of new music - ‘Fool’s Day’, ‘The Puritan’ and ‘Under The Westway’. But the noises from Damon Albarn weren’t great. Even at his most positive, it never really felt like a new Blur album was top of his to-do list. When a week long recording session in a tour break was mentioned, it seemed there may be hope, but before long that faded away too. Chances were, Blur were done.

Keeping a surprise in 2015 is hard. Keeping the shock comeback of one of the biggest acts of the last quarter of a century quiet should be near unheard of. The reclusive David Bowie may have managed similar, but he wasn’t operating in the front line anymore - he could scheme well away from the limelight. The members of Blur were hardly playing wallflowers. Albarn spent 2014 promoting a solo album, working on a musical and headlining festivals - not the place you’d expect someone to plan the secret return of the year from. But then, Damon wasn’t the one doing the plotting. Not really.

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Tags: Blur, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Reviews, Album Reviews

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