No Heroin, But Damon Albarn Is Still Near His Creative Best With 'Everyday Robots'
He's been vocal about his past with drugs recently, but the focus should be on his brilliant new album
Glamourizing drugs is a crime punishable by censorship and criticism, but Damon Albarn’s detractors – the ones who weren’t happy when he said heroin made him more creative – should take one listen to his first solo project, ‘Everyday Robots’, to see that the former Blue frontman wasn’t being entirely earnest.
Damon Albarn's solo effort has recieved critical acclaim
The critics have had their say, and any creativity Albarn may have gleaned via the drugs he was taking weren’t necessarily indicative of his output. Having stormed the 90s with Blur’s own take on Britpop, Albarn has worked on an eclectic group of projects with equally eclectic musicians. ‘Everyday Robots’ is his first solo LP, and, ahead of its release, the reviews are looking good.
“It’ll take some time to get to grips with, and requires input--this isn’t a passive album--but you reap what you sow, and if you take enough time with Everyday Robots, you’ll be rewarded with a dazzling LP that’ll lodge itself in your mind from now until your last breath,” wrote MusicOMH.com’s Larry Day.
“The only moment of outright jollity arrives on “Mr Tembo”, a ukulele-driven song about a baby elephant: fittingly, the gospel choir bringing uplift to its chorus is from the church at the end of his Leytonstone road. It’s a rare moment of extrovert cheer on an intimate, introspective album that takes tentative steps to reveal the soul behind the star,” wrote The Independent’s Andy Gill.
“The phrase ‘slow-burner’ is tossed around rather carelessly, but ‘Everyday Robots’ is a definite contender. Weeks on from the first listen, it feels like it’s always been there. It doesn’t burn out so much as creep up and these songs offer yet another new guise for a remarkable talent,” wrote Gareth James of Clash Music.
“In a mood of nostalgia, Albarn is looking back at his life as it unspools over some of his most subtle, beautiful and melancholy melodies, rendered in a slightly hung-over, low-fi tone, occasionally pepped up by samples from producer Richard Russell,” wrote Helen Brown of The Telegraph.