The Good, The Bad and The Queen is Wicked

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This is Damon Albarn's new band, with the guitarist from The Verve, Bassist from The Clash, drummer from Fela Kuti and Superproducer Danger Mouse, who is on, like, a 6 album hot streak now.

Anyway, Half the album (plus 2 b-sides) have leaked from the album so far, with several good quality live versions of the whole album also available, and now they have posted the entire album on myspace at -

www.myspace.com/thegoodthebadandthequeen

Anyway, I'm really digging this album, I have to say. Sort of like a stoner, more british version of Gorillaz without the rapping.

Anyway, I'm sort of surprised nobody is talking about this, but it is pretty cool. It's out january 22nd, I think.

Erock Lazron (Erock Zombie), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 03:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

the guitarist from The Verve

The *other* guitarist from Verve, I thought.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 03:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

no dig on you erock, but the word "superproducer" has begun to make me throw up in my mouth a little.

i will have to hear this when i get off work though.

Hoosteen (Hoosteen), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 03:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

cue Damon Albarn kneejerkitude at 5, 4, 3, 2 . . . (haha xpost)

Make a Beck Song #1 (M Matos), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 03:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

this is the sound of DAMNOCRACY being beaten at a game they weren't even bold enough to play?

Hoosteen (Hoosteen), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 03:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink


Yeah, I only say "superproducer" because I like almost everything he's done, unlike Dre or even RZA at times.

Not to say he's up there with either of them, but still.

Erock Lazron (Erock Zombie), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 04:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Okay, have listened. It's okay, it'll probably grow on me but have a limited duration of appeal. The final (title) track is by FAR the best; it's no coincidence that it's also nearly twice as long as its nearest challenger at a comparatively sizeable seven minutes. They actually loosen up and freak out a bit on that one, with Simon Tong only at the last deciding to play some interesting, atonal, and above all noisy guitar-parts. Elsewhere, the album as a whole is very pleasant to listen to, with the occasional left-field production touch that sends yours truly into a bit of a tizz (Herculean, the second half of The Bunting Song and the last five seconds of Green Fields being the predominant examples). Herculean and The Bunting Song are the other standouts IMO, with the rest all too happy to coagulate into an agreeable if relatively indistinguishable whole. Perhaps I need to listen to it a bit more, though; as a noted member of this board has recently claimed, the difference between an 'amateur' and a 'professional' listener is whether you're prepared to get 10 or 20 spins under your belt. Off to loosen that buckle, I guess...

You've Got Scourage On Your Breath (Haberdager), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 08:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I heard the first single (Herculean?) and was non-plused, as I am by all supergroups now that I'm a grownup. (And I like Damon!)

i'll mitya halfway (mitya), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 08:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's sort of my opinion also.

I got the first single "Herculean" and quite liked it, but I have to say, the second track on the CD single was very "Damon, I hope you didn't bother Paul Simonon with this rubbish!"

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 09:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I liked all of that initial single and am looking forward to the album a lot (the third track DID have someone rapping, albeit in another language).

Tiki Theater Xymposium (Bent Over at the Arclight), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 10:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oh I liked it well enough...

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 10:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

its a definite 'grower', very subdued affair, and rather wonderful.

mark e (mark e), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 12:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
I'm approaching 10 spins now - 'going pro,' I suppose - and I love this album. The melodies are strong enough, and the bass playing rich enough, that many of these songs could get by with nothing more than vocals and bass. I think, in fact, I would prefer songs like 'Northern Whale' that way, without the Danger Mouse casio beats. Very impressed, anyway - I didn't think it could have ended up even decent, much less great.

Tiki Theater Xymposium (Bent Over at the Arclight), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 12:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I saw the live performance of this last night, on TV. It was absolutely cringeworthy. Dreadful, lifeless dirges, one after the other. Tony Allen looking utterly bored. Paul Simenon looking a little embarrassed and trying to cover it with patented rockin-out dance attitude during the songs. Whenever anyone talked about the album they sounded sheepish and drugged, except Albarn, who sounded arrogant and drugged. He has no power in his voice in any of the songs I heard, and for such a crack rhythm section the songs lacked any dynamics.

And, what exactly is the symbolism of hiring a string section to play barely audible "sweetener" that is these days always done with a synth?

I am really just flabbergasted that anyone gives stuff like this any time. And the OMM gave it five stars!

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 12:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

the reviews have been excellent pretty much which has surprised me. he's sort of due his once-every-decade taking-down-a-peg-or-two type press kicking round about now i thought.

pisces (piscesx), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 12:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I wonder if these are the (very) quiet songs he did at the Peel Tribute Night thing in Maida Vale. One of them involved a tinkly little bell.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 12:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

saw it on TV last night. not heard the album but fucking hell they are boring. damons voice is just terrible. sounded flat and croaky. the band are quite good but the songs are so DEAD and dreary and pompous i dont get all the great reviews its gotten. boring. very menopausal sounding music.

titchyschneider (titchyschneider), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 12:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

damons sunglasses made him look like a real ponce.

titchyschneider (titchyschneider), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 13:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

When has he not sounded drugged and arrogant?! And yes, several of the songs involve tinkly little bells.

I really do think it's deliberately dreary; the lyrics are all about exhaustion and hopelessness. But the melodies creep up on you.

It's very much a singular album - not meant as the mission statement of a new band, but rather as a single piece with a deliberate theme and aesthetic. Which is largely grim, dreary, rainy, and bleak. Dirges is a good way of putting it, I think.

Tiki Theater Xymposium (Bent Over at the Arclight), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 13:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I had heard it in the next room before I know who it was and for a second I was like "what is this? Coldplay? Sigur Ros? It sounds even less worked out than either of those though!" And then I went and looked and it was like, oh, of course.

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 13:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I've listened to this three times through now and so far I'm not really feeling it, except for the last track, and I could have done with a lot more of that kind of stuff. There's bleak and then there's just bleurgh, but Albarn-related records tend to have a long shelf life so I'll persevere.

Also Marianne Faithfull did "Green Fields" much more justice on her last album.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 13:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think it's good. I'd strain to claim anything more for it than that though. I think 5-star reviews are just PLEASE BE A JANUARY CLASSIC desperation. It is dirgey, it is a grower, Damon's voice is weak (always, always has been, he's a terrible singer) and his lyrics are sub-par here too, Tony Allen and Paul Simonon are criminally underused (Allen literally, he's just not on enough tracks; Simonon stylistically - "play some gentle pseudo-dub again please Paul"). Simon Tong's contribution is interesting, depending how much is him and how much is Damon / Danger Mouse. Some of the production is really good, some of it is really not so good, and Howie Weinberg flattened it all out in the mastering just to finish it off.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 13:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I quite like that air of defat, although I haven't listened to the album. At the same time I thought they were dead boring on that Electric Proms thing.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 13:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The Uncut review was notably ambivalent!
http://www.uncut.net/music/damon_albarn/reviews/9237

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 13:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Reynolds seems to have interpreted JtN's review as meaning "they're ripping off Burial/Thom Yorke."

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

yeah but reynolds can neither read nor think.

i just read his last blog post and wtf "a great perky 2step remix of [clint eastwood] doing the rounds on the pirates" - yeah the pirates like RADIO ONE

lex pretend (lex pretend), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No comment...

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(er i expected to hate good/bad/queen - i find the single surprisingly listenable, if not memorable. i have a low tolerance for the indie male vocal as you all know but i've never minded allbran's - at least i never minded its timbre, even if the mockney thing made me want to stab stab stab)

lex pretend (lex pretend), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

does no one else think the whole london-theme that GBQ and bloc party and not sure who else are now obsessed with has been inspired by all the 'this is the accurate sound/reflection of london' hype surrounding grime or dubstep though?

titchyschneider (titchyschneider), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No, it's probably because they live there.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No. (xpost)

Well, it's more they all come from the same base.

Basically, if they'd had an 'urban' award back in the 1977 era, the Clash would have got it. Four years ago, it'd be Dizzy Rascal. It's not actually as mad a change as it seems.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"No, it's probably because they live there."

bloc party are (casually) into grime/dubstep. theres one track on the new BP album that bears some influence of that. albarn must be somewhat familiar with those scenes as well as he likes to keep up to date somewhat with new british/black music. i dont see it as that much of a stretch that they might have concentrated on making all these paens to london from hearing/hearing about burial or whoever.

i might just be biased of course.

titchyschneider (titchyschneider), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I assume you mean "Hunting For Witches" off the BP record, which could just as easily be said to have been inspired by an Akufen record.

Damon's ALWAYS been about London, or, at least, has been for about 15 years, so this move from him's not a surprise; it's a homecoming after Mali Music and the success of Gorillaz in the US, perhaps.

As for BP, second albums by praised indie bands, especially those from the South East, are always about fame / drugs / London, aren't they?

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Dog Man Star is great!

acrobat (elwisty), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"You suspect what's missing is precisely that tension and spark vital to a working band, a sense that anything is really at stake."

Yeah, this is exactly what I took away from that live thing last night. Why do this album?

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Why not do this album? Damon's a musician, so are the other guys - presumably they enjoy making music, and make a living from it. I didn't see the live thing last night, and can fully believe that it was terrible, but the album is good, and it deserves to exist. I can appreciate why some might not like it, but I can also totally understand why Damon & co. would want to make it.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Very good, JtN. Ladbroke Grove Galacticos! It sounds like the kind of album that benefits from not actually being listened to, but rather imagined. In my imagination, it is very sad and heartbroken. Maybe the lack of spark is a good thing, or at least a worthwhile experiment. Sad and sparkless is sad squared.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 14:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Rock and roll is just a job. That was my impression, too. And if the boss fans aren't too demanding, so much the better, woo ooh ooh.

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 15:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Damon's not been about rock and roll for years though. As for boss / fans not being demanding enough, let's see how it sells.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 15:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Very good album. This and "Demon Days" show perhaps the end of the bad run of Damon. Much better album than 'Think Tank' or '13' were.

zeus (zeus), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 15:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The strange thing though is Why would Simonon get back into music just for this? I mean he has his whole painter thing going and all the interviews I've read before this suggested that he was quite happy being out of the music scene.

I quite agree with the "dirge" descriptions, and I'm quite happy with dirges, but this stuff seemed wasted on Tony Allen, didn't it?

i'll mitya halfway (mitya), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 15:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

God he looked so bored. He also had that "please don't ask me any questions about this album" look on his face during all the interviews - and they didn't.

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 16:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

As for BP, second albums by praised indie bands, especially those from the South East, are always about fame / drugs / London, aren't they?

*sings* We step through London, the streets holding onto us..

his sister pam (hissisterpam), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 16:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Much better album than 'Think Tank' or '13' were."

crazy talk

marc h. (marc h.), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 18:07 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I liked Think Tank alot actually, great world influences there.

I also really like Demon Days and TGTBATQ, but I found 13 to be pretty heavy, all in all. Some good tunes though.

Erock Lazron (Erock Zombie), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 18:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I actually kind of love the album, but this stuff seemed wasted on Tony Allen is excruciatingly OTM.

blotter Budweiser Hackeysadk (nickalicious), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 19:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also this is like the shittiest band name ever.

blotter Budweiser Hackeysadk (nickalicious), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 19:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I would rather it be called Damon Albarn Is Having A Laugh, Is He Having a Laugh?.

blotter Budweiser Hackeysadk (nickalicious), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 19:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

OTPS to Scourge:

Pros are those (like Ned) who can get the basic gist in a listen or 2.
Amateurs are those (like me) who gotta listen a million times to sort things out.

But whatevs.

french for cane break (Pye Poudre), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 21:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Much better album than 'Think Tank' or '13' were."

crazy talk

-- marc h. (mar...), January 23rd, 2007.

OK, I was a bit too enthusiastic after one listening, perhaps not better than '13', but 'Think Tank' should have been a laughing stock.

zeus (zeus), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 22:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This sounds awful.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 23 January 2007 22:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This sounds awful.
-- Alex in SF (clobberthesauru...), January 23rd, 2007.

You mean the notion of the album, based on what you've read here, or the album, having heard it?

Tiki Theater Xymposium (Bent Over at the Arclight), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 00:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

this is a pretty shitty record.
lagos no shakin>>>>>>>>>>>>good, bad + queen

La Monte (La Monte), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 02:07 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The studio album>>>>>>>>>>>>>>the live tracks

M. V. (M.V.), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 02:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Chris Richards in the 1-23-07 Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/22/AR2007012201393.html

An excerpt

"His songs, reportedly once intended for a solo album, are melancholic and mopey, with the bandleader shrugging his shoulders when he should be getting on the good foot. On "Kingdom of Doom" the singer laments, "I see everything in black and white . . . Drink all day 'cause the country's at war."

"This is dour music for dour times, but no excuse to keep Allen on the sideline. A few of these songs are completely drumless affairs, leaving Simonon and Allen only one chance to connect -- on the fragmented "Three Changes." With a serpentine bass line sliding through Allen's muted rumble, the moment hints at what the Good, the Bad and the Queen should have been: the Great."

curmudgeon (DC Steve), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 12:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Nice to see Nimble Bass' younger cousin Serpentine Bass in that review there.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 12:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also this is like the shittiest band name ever.

Okay, this is the last time I try to defend a project I don't even have THAT big of a boner about, but it should be pointed out (for better or for worse) that Albarn has repeatedly said that The Good, The Bad & the Queen is the title of the album and the band has no name. (A statement that should only be further fuel for the haterfire).

Tiki Theater Xymposium (Bent Over at the Arclight), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

If it's any help, I filed it under G.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"You mean the notion of the album, based on what you've read here, or the album, having heard it?"

The notion. I don't go out of my way to hear Damon Albarn projects.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 16:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
I was absolutely dreading the thought of this album (Dangermouse again? Yuck.) after reading about it on Pitchfork, etc., but after downloading "Herculean" for free on iTunes, I must say I am rather pleased. All gripes aside about the live show, Damon's voice and the misuse of Allen, this is a very well-written album methinks. The grand melodies, great production and general absence of drums makes for a pretty original album. Maybe people hate it 'cause it isn't a supergroup album...it's more like what I imagine a Damon solo album sounding like with the help of some friends. FWIW, TGTBATQ>>>The Eraser.

(Runs away from molotov cocktails.)

brightscreamer (brightscreamer), Saturday, 10 February 2007 15:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

TGTBATQ>>>The Eraser

No.

Turangalila (Salvador), Saturday, 10 February 2007 17:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

Don't care much for the rest of the album, but 'Herculean' is utterly, utterly beautiful. Especially those jaw-dropping first 30 seconds.

Just got offed, Wednesday, 24 October 2007 20:00 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Another album is on the cards. I presume the band name will remain as <______________>.

Autumn Almanac, Wednesday, 24 October 2007 23:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I found it rather tedious on first listen. Haven't attempted a second listen as a result. Might have to go back now and re-check it out.

Alex in NYC, Thursday, 25 October 2007 16:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I liked the album kind of but it was very background-musicky, not a lot of bright moments. Tony Allen is mixed really shittily, I think the album would've been better with the drums on every track turned up like 2 notches. Damon Albarn sounds like an old fart on this album; my roommate said he's doing his Lyrics Born impression.

nickalicious, Thursday, 25 October 2007 17:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

He looks like an old fart too now.

The album's a grower. There's some real beauty in there if you've the patience to let it unfold.

Autumn Almanac, Thursday, 25 October 2007 22:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

eleven years pass...

They made a new album.

This is the lead single, a very sad thing about brexit, it's sort of nothing special and sort of amazing at the same time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p1mq19htTc

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 12 November 2018 23:23 (one month ago) Permalink

...PARKLIFE

Nah, just kidding, it's very good

sbahnhof, Sunday, 18 November 2018 04:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Okay, so this is pretty much the best album Damon's been involved with this decade. I'm really surprised by how much I love this, given that I found the first LP a bit of a snooze.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Sunday, 25 November 2018 21:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, it really feels like he's put his heart into it in a way he hasn't done in ages.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 25 November 2018 21:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I agree! As much as I like The Now Now and The Magic Whip (which has grown on me a great deal over the last couple of years), there's a spark on this record that I haven't felt from a Damon project in a long time.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Sunday, 25 November 2018 21:35 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I want to hate this because of general Albarn-aversion and the strong whiff of whimsy (that bloody cover; the nods to hauntology) but I ended up liking the first record despite myself and this is sounding very good.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Monday, 26 November 2018 10:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Now I've annoyed myself with an imaginary review titled: 'anthems for a post-Brexit Britain?'

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Monday, 26 November 2018 10:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah I was liking this as well when I listened earlier. It has literally everything going against it except the fact it's quite good

imago, Monday, 26 November 2018 10:22 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Willing to call this the best Damon thing since 13. Admittedly there's not really any competition for that (except arguably Demon Days)

imago, Monday, 26 November 2018 12:34 (two weeks ago) Permalink

maybe i'll have to give it another listen. it certainly sounded like damon's best album since plastic beach when i listened (not that anything he's done since then has been much good) but it didn't really stick with me. "best since 13" seems impossible though when there's think tank and demon days

ufo, Monday, 26 November 2018 12:36 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i'm a think tank denialist

imago, Monday, 26 November 2018 12:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink

unless you want to consider it the 'out of time ep', tracklist ambulance/out of time/on the way to the club/caravan/battery in your leg there that's acceptable. both the songs with 'song' in the name are overrated imo

imago, Monday, 26 November 2018 13:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

One of them is "good"

Mark G, Monday, 26 November 2018 14:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

those 5 + the two 'song's + gene by gene are all great

i also need to revisit the tgb&tq debut i guess because i barely remember it at all

ufo, Monday, 26 November 2018 14:24 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Think Tank only has like 2 bad songs wtf

afraid to listen to this tbh

resident hack (Simon H.), Monday, 26 November 2018 14:30 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the debut has 'herculean' which is, to harp on a theme, albarn's best song since the last millennium imo

imago, Monday, 26 November 2018 14:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink

that's all i remember from it and i do love it

ufo, Monday, 26 November 2018 14:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

title track is a nice little rave-up

imago, Monday, 26 November 2018 14:34 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Merrie Land is really excellent

The Poppy Bush AutoZone (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 6 December 2018 19:05 (six days ago) Permalink


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