The Good, the Bad & the Queen - The Good, the Bad & the Queen
Never had Damon Albarn tasted as much success with the Gorillaz then he did with Britpop sensations Blur, in which some Gorrilaz fans not even knowing who he is. Now the mastermind behind the Gorillaz, set his sights on another project which in mid to late 2006 became of the most anticipated records on the calendar for 2007.
Recruiting members from other familiar bands such as the Clash's bassist Paul Simonon and the Verve's Simon Tong, without the public knowing too much about the project, what was know was that it was said to be quite the departure from his previous endeavours. To descirbe their sound is quite a challenge as the album conveys quite an original sound. I can only liken them to parts of the Beta Band and bits and pieces of the Gorrilaz.
The album never seems to reaches it's goal, a greater portion of the tracks are slowburning and have a moody atmospheric quality, Albarns vocals included are as melancholy as the music. The album contains interesting compositions though they just lack a certain zest, so interest is lost in the making even if the sometimes elegant and gloomy soundscapes are occasionaly ravishing. Even with Dangermouse producing the outcome is still on an average level.
"The History Song" sets the tone for most of the album. This is a very ambitious set of songs and for that matter and fans have seemed to lost interest with only a handful endlessly defending it. "Kingdom of Doom" gives us the first taste of the band finding there footsteps before leading into the almost epic "Herculean" the first single lifted and easily the best track the album offers. The rest of the album seems to meander not really portraying the effectiveness of the few brilliant tracks. Filled with lush orchestrations and multi instrumentation, which are a pleasure to the ears, there is just something missing.
If its elegance and a well produced intriguing album is what you're after then this is a must, though if your hoping for a fun catchy pop record sadly this isn't for you. Never amazing, though not entirely unsuccessful, Albarn uses this project as an outlet to vent and continues to establish himself as an artist. Thankfully finishing on a high note with the much diverse title track, the longest and most rewarding song here, not all is lost. If the boys decide to get together again I'll be surely interested in what they come up with.