Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots

source: XL

With the breathtaking portfolio that the prolific Damon Albarn has amassed since the late ‘80s, it’s almost unbelievable that the talented multi-instrumentalist hasn’t made a record that he can call entirely his own, till now that is. It has taken him 25 years of donning multifarious masks and personas, from the virtual phenomenon that was Gorillaz, pop opera compositions Monkey and Doctor Dee, and rock outfit Blur, to come to this point where he has become completely comfortable in his own skin.

As much of an oxymoron as it is with Albarn’s perpetual usage of gizmos and gadgets in his favoured studio and live performances, Everyday Robots centres on the overhanging theme of his evident mistrust of technology and what it has become; somewhat fitting for a man who started making music the year that the World Wide Web was invented. We follow him on a personal journey through his childhood, loves lost, addictions, and mature travels, each experience augments his craft in ways that were otherwise impossible.

The nostalgic, minimalistic overture spun by Albarn on this record reveals some of his most beautiful aural architecture to date, with subtle nicks and embellishments complementing his often melancholic and sagacious lyricisms. With exotic percussions and intricate strings blending in perfectly with the lo-fi synths and basslines in the background, his harmonious vocals are free to envelope the entire record, allowing for careful scrutiny of his insightful thoughts and observations. This is Damon Albarn playing himself for a change, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

LISTEN TO: ‘The Selfish Giant’