INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Music APRIL 23, 2014 - by Bryget Chrisfield
DAMON ALBARN: EVERYDAY ROBOTS
From the moment you press play and the humorous opening sample from Damon Albarn's first solo offering's title track filters through, it's apparent that we're about to be treated to all the best elements of Blur, Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad & The Queen, as well as Albarn's operatic ventures Monkey: Journey To The West and Dr Dee. Melancholic melodies are offset by intentionally clunky beats that meet tinkling ivories, leaving an impression that humans plus technology might just happily coexist one day: "When you're lonely press play".
The subject of Albarn's rambunctious track Mr. Tembo is an orphaned baby elephant he encountered while staying in Tanzania - yes, of course he employs trumpet sounds, but also The Leytonstone City Mission Choir, which is the very same church choir Albarn would hear through the church door as a child during Sunday strolls through the East London neighbourhood where he grew up. There's thought-provoking lyricism ("It's hard to be your lover when the TV's on"), and the descending keys and kettle drum breakdown during You & Me will wrench your heart out. Closer Heavy Seas Of Love features Brian Eno and brings with it You'll Never Walk Alone gravitas.
Albarn lets us in a bit on Everyday Robots. And what we find is simultaneously wistful and joyous.