Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Good, The Bad & The Queen - The Good, The Bad & The Queen


I've made my love of Damon Albarn apparent in previous posts so there's no need for me to rehash it here.  Suffice to say, though, this is yet another piece of musical genius by the former Blur lead vocalist.  The double bonus is The Good, The Bad & The Queen is produced by one of my favourites as well, Danger Mouse, whose deft touch proves as potent here as it does on anything else he handles. 

But the bonuses just keep happening.  Ostensibly a super group, TGTBTQ also has Paul Simonon (former bass player for The Clash), guitarist Simon Tong (formerly of The Verve and various other bands) and afrofunk pioneer, Tony Allen on drums.

All the tracks on the album were co-written by Albarn and Simonon and sound something like a cross between latter Blur tracks and the pop of Albarn's other band, Gorillaz.  But there is no mistaking Simonon's influence and his blending of dubby lines with more straight-forward bass riffs.  It is perfectly suited to Tony Allen's simple but sharp drumming. 

The most enjoyable thing about this album is that it sounds like a band who've been playing together for some time, not cobbled together for this session.  It could have easily been a Damon Albarn solo record but the man is a serial collaborator with the results speaking for themselves.  Personally, I'd like to see this lineup continue but of course, this depends on whether Albarn can stop long enough for the others to catch up to him.



It's really good, but even after several plays there isn't one song or moment that remains with me.  I mean, it's Damon, so I could listen to him sing the street directory.  And of course all the songs are beautifully put together and produced.  It's an album I could cheerfully listen to at home, in the car, or anytime, but there was no "Wow" moment in it for me.  Not that it's background music, it definitely rewards the careful listener, with hints of the Kinks among other trace elements in this semi-supergroup musical melange. 

Maybe it's because I'm so used to musical excellence from Damon that I find this altogether beautiful but with no particular piece that calls to me.  Not that that's a bad thing, you understand.


For more information: http://www.thegoodthebadandthequeen.com/

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