Damon Albarn’s new music is touched by the colors of the old English music hall, wartime laments, and Britpop, as well as subtle shades of reggae, dub, and Afrobeat. It might be as grubby and mysterious as the London it evokes, but it’s also as animated and vibrant as the streets around Portobello Market. It’s a bold, startling record that confounds any expectations or preconceptions of its creator. The half remembered pictures that float through the songs’ murky waters are a defiant and despairing comment on where the mixed up island of Britain is in 2007. Even more so than the last Gorillaz album and the interesting but patchy Mali Music, The Good, the Bad & the Queen is a record swathed in musicality and soul—and is unquestionably the most assured and coherent project Albarn has ever been involved with. [Amazon]
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