Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
4

Music Review

Graham Coxon: 'A+E' - Album review

By
Released on Monday, Apr 2 2012

Graham Coxon: 'A+E'
When the history books were written last decade, the conclusion was that Damon Albarn was the sole genius of the Britpop era. From Chinese opera and animated hip-hop to Mali Music and supergroups, his efforts outside Blur have certainly backed up that theory.

Attracting much less attention, the man responsible for nudging the band away from chasing Jo Guest round a country house and towards the more exciting underground in 1997 has quietly released seven solo albums.

While they haven't had Albarn's bombast or special guest helpers, Coxon's records have swaggered about from lo-fi twiddling to thrashy garage rock, plucky folk and indiepop, sometimes without you even having to change disc.

Coxon's eighth solo album A+E is yet another success from the quiet man of Britpop. Ten to-the-point songs mix up his scuzziest alt sounds yet with some more electronic beats and bounces.

Lead single 'What'll It Take' shimmers and swirls you all the way to the indie disco. 'The Truth' and 'Knife in the Cast' are weighty tombstone slabs of industrial, mechanised drone rock that work their way into your head like a rickety handheld power drill.

Elsewhere, the influence of post-punk in general and Joy Division in particular looms large. 'Meet and Drink and Pollinate' has some basslines that might even have Hooky considering a call to his lawyers.

That's not to make things sound bleaker than there are. Every song has an irresistible hook either lingering on the surface ('Seven Naked Valleys') or buried just below it (the delightful Deep Purple drudge of 'Ooh, Yeh, Yeh'). No matter how much he keeps his head down and eyes covered behind that fringe and those glasses, Coxon can't help but make accessible, catchy tunes.

Lyrically he seems almost ridiculously unaffected by being a key cog in one of of Britain's biggest bands, thrashing through thoughts and ideas like some excited kid on his first record, even when dealing with his industry woes ("I wrote a new song/ When I was touring / Man it was no fun / Totally boring"). Despite its darker moments, A+E is never less than perky, precise and poptastic. There's maybe even a little bit of genius sprinkled about.



Tracks to download: 'What'll It Take', 'Advice' 'Seven Naked Valleys'
If you like this, you'll like: Joy Division, Hüsker Dü, Frank Black, Nine Inch Nails

Watch the Graham Coxon 'What It'll Take' music video below:

You May Like

Comments

Loading...