Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
By R. Sterling
Nineteen years on, let’s sit back and contemplate the “Britpop Wars.” Simply put, Damon Alban won.
Sure, Oasis went on to sell a gajillion copies of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, but the smart money was on the fey, pretty boys of Blur, who in a reinvention that made Radiohead’s Kid A seem like the progression from one Nickelback song to another, left The Great Escape in their wake with the peerless Blur, 13, and the massively underrated Think Tank.
With 2014’s Everyday Robots we finally have Albarn’s début solo album (let’s set aside the questions of how the Gorillas was a group effort, or what exactly the opera “Dr. Dee” was), and a fine record it is too. Despite a certain languor, this is a very accessible collection of songs that starts out likeable, and quickly becomes loveable. For a notoriously opaque artist, Albarn presents us with a very personal work, firmly rooted in place and time – Notting Hill (“You and Me”), childhood (“Hollow Ponds”), fatherhood (“Photographs (You are Taking Now)”), and heroin usage in the general standout track “You and Me”.
Albarn’s often underrated voice is superb throughout. This is a record to put on repeat. – (8.5/10)