- Audio CD (Aug 1 2000)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: EMI Europe Generic
- ASIN: B00004TA3G
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
|1. Jamie Thomas|
|2. The Fear|
|3. Satan I Gatan|
|4. Fame And Fortune|
|5. My Idea Of Hell|
|7. Fags And Failure|
|8. Leave Me Alone|
|9. Keep Hope Alive|
|10. Oochy Woochy|
|11. That's When I Reach For My Revolver|
|12. Don't Think About Always|
This album is VERY different to 13.
Graham's textural adventures with Blur on the album 13 have not gone forgotten. The moody instrumental "Lake" begins similar to the Blur song "No Distance Left to Run", a jam that ever so slowly builds up into a sonic tantrum, buzzing, humming and squealing through your speakers. Very cool.
For the most part though, the textural effects Graham has mastered are used to make the album sound raw and live. Graham plays everything on this album, though you wouldn't know, it sounds like a band playing in the same room.
The music for the most part is angry, energetic and loud. From the crunchy skater-punk of "Jamie Thomas", to the Sex Pistols feel of "The Fear", to the venomous "Fags and Failure", this is a heavy disc. Makes Blur's "Song 2" look quite light in comparison. In short, it rocks.
A highlight is the angsty "Leave Me Alone". Starting off a lot like an early Korn song, Graham mumbles his way through a tense verse before screaming the chorus ("LEAVE ME ALONE!") in a way that only an angry Brit could do sincerely. The middle of this song features an exciting, squiggly guitar solo that fans of Sonic Youth will like, followed by a sickeningy catchy chant "you're nothing, you're nothing, we're nothing", before blasting back into the chorus with stacks of white noise.
Distortion is everywhere, many lyrics are fuzzed over and electric guitar is used nearly all the way through with the amps set to 11. "Don't Think About Always" is the murder of an amplifier, no question about it. No one could blast and loud, shredding tone like that from an amp and not leave it blown out. You can almost hear the poor thing dying. Oh well, Graham's had a lot of success with Blur, he can afford a new one.
For an album that is live sounding and plastered with distortion, there is a surprising amount of variety here. "Oochy Woochy" is a jazzy, hip-hop kind of piece which features a squawking brass section and a chorus of "Oochy Woochy, YEAH BABY!". "Satan I Gatan" is an odd industrial song which has samples of an opera singer thrown in. "Fame and Fortune" & "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" are songs originally sung by an old school American punk band called Mission of Burma. They are performed really well here, Graham's voice suits them perfectly. The best singing he does on this album are on these songs.
It's too ragged to be a perfect album. Some of the songs are a bit repetitive at points (like The Fear, Satan I Gatan, and My Idea of Hell) and a lot of the time, you can't hear Graham very well, quiet and shy guy that he is. On Keep Hope Alive, his voice cracks off key and he fumbles on his guitar, but it doesn't matter, the emotion and the personality shines though, a lot like the way it comes through in an musician like Syd Barrett's work.
Some people don't like Graham's cover art, I do. The booklet, rather than lyrics, comes with a picture for each song. They're all very child-like, but they each suit the songs perfectly. The way the cardboard cover looks like its really been drawn on in pencil and crayon is pretty cool too.
I recommend this for people who want heavy, angry music, but don't want to go as far as metal. Blur fans may find this of interest, those it's not very similar to the work of Graham's (former) band (similar to Song 2 maybe, but that doesn't really represent Blur very well).
Oh, and look out for Graham's new album Happiness in Magazines!
Of course, we'll miss Damon's oddly affected lyrics, but this just shows who the musical genius in Blur really was...