A Review of Damon Albarn’s Debut Album,
By Ryan Solecki
It has been three years in the making, but on April 25th Damon Albarn finally unmasked himself with his solo debut album, Everyday Robots. The record takes on many themes and instruments in typical Albarn fashion, however, the record may not be what you expect.
Albarn has said in several interviews that this record is the “most personal” record that he has ever made detailing memories from his childhood in England to present day. The album also seems to take shots at present day addiction to technological devices that cripple what really matters in life. The record was co-produced by Richard Russell and was recorded across the pond in several English studios as well as in New York City. It was released via Warner Bros. and XL records.
The opening and self-titled track is a poetic track showing how our society has become emotionless and cold. “We are everyday robots on our phones…looking like standing stones,” Albarn writes.
Then there are tracks like “If You’re Lonely Press Play”that seem to detail Albarn struggling with a lonesome lamenting feeling that he combats with making music. The lonesome lamenting feeling is also reflected in the sound of the album as a whole. You can hear the vulnerability in Albarn’s voice that is absent in his works with the Gorillaz or Blur.
The only track on the record that has an upbeat up stroking acoustic guitar riff that could bring a smile to just about any music listener is called “Mr. Tembo.” Can’t be too sure what this song is about, but it will make you dance.
The stand out and personal favorite track on the record is “The Selfish Giant,” which features backing vocals from Natasha Khan from Bat for Lashes. It’s a lyrical masterpiece describing how difficult it is to love while we as a society take technology over human beings. From a production stand point this track is also solid.
As a whole, the record is a little tough at first since it is a slower and more lamenting album than anything we’ve heard from Albarn in the past. But you can truly hear in the production, lyrics and voice of Albarn how much this meant to him.
In a recent interview Albarn said “I don’t like that word solo. It sounds very lonely.” It’s almost as if Albarn is afraid to be alone. Maybe that’s why he created the Gorillaz to surround himself by four fictional gorillas. Or why it has taken him this long to put out a solo record, which took three years to produce. This feeling is very present on this record and it makes it that much more personal and intimate, which is why any Damon Albarn fan will appreciate this artistic, yet touching album.
Everyday Robots is available for purchase on iTunes.
For more information please visit Damon Albarn’s official website: http://www.damonalbarnmusic.com/
For social media please visit: https://www.facebook.com/Damonalbarnofficial