The Mancunion

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Album: Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

Albarn’s song writing just doesn’t work with a more minimalistic approach

By

Released 25th April

XL Records

4/10

At its heart, Everyday Robots is a collection of soul-bearing ballads, frayed with edges of brit-pop weirdness and downbeat hip-hop beats. The entire album consists of songs revolving around vocals and a piano or guitar. Whilst title track and album opener ‘Everyday Robots’ incorporates a sampled violin riff, none of the instrumental parts of the album ever come close to anything as interesting. Albarn’s song writing just doesn’t work with a more minimalistic approach to its sound.

It does feel arrogant that Albarn has made this album with such little regard for his past. Having spent the last 20 years as one of Britain’s best musical minds you’d think that this arrogance would pay off. Instead, he has cherry picked what seem to be the most boring parts of his career. He croons on and on with lyrics that are cryptic at best and full of incomplete references to the hopelessness of modern life… underpinned by stripped back down tempo beats.

The aforementioned title track ‘Everyday Robots’ is easily the album’s highest point. But for every ‘Everyday Robots’ on the album, there are eleven other songs on the album that are a slog to sit through. Apparently ‘Mr. Tembo’ is about a baby elephant that lost its mother, but it’s the sort of thing you expect some self-loathing ceebeebies presenter to sing through a fake smile. And that’s probably the albums most upbeat moment. From there on out he drones on and on. Tracks like ‘Photographs’ don’t seem to end. And then to top it off, the final track, ‘Heavy Seas of Love’ is just 3 minutes of Damon singing, you guessed it, “heavy seas of love” over and over again backed by a choir. Just give it up, Damon.