Magic Whip - song by song impressions

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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by davidsutter » 25 Apr 2015, 20:43

Lonesome Street - 10/10
I talked about this one yesterday, don't want to repeat myself too much. Streety's production is perfect here.
Damon puts his britpop hat on and it somehow doesn't seem forced, I never thought that would happen.

New World Towers - 9/10
Damon's put out a lot of this downtempo piano-based melancholy lately, luckily the others bring this song higher than anything on Everyday Robots.

Go Out - 8/10
The rhythm section's really tight here and the guitars are super dirty.
The lyrics are kind of stupid but I always end up shouting along anyway. A guilty pleasure in that regard, I guess.

Ice Cream Man - 10/10
A lot of people seem to dislike the wonky electronic sounds on this track but I think they blend really well with the rest of it.
It's a great arrangement, I think even if I heard this as an instrumental I'd imagine an ice cream truck.

Thought I Was A Spaceman - 10/10
This one's epic. The lovechild of Caramel and On The Way To The Club.
Westway's completely wrong about Graham's part. His notes are significantly higher than Damon's and he hits them fine.

I Broadcast - 7.5/10
I still think the uptempo punkish energy of the live version is superior but I've mellowed to this a bit. It's aight.
Alex's bass riffs are killer on this track, I wish he was higher in the mix for it.

My Terracotta Heart - 9.5/10
I like that the studio mix downplays Damon's acoustic picking, he's been using that way too much lately.
Very good mix here but I do think the live version ends better. How Damon and the choir extend that last note.

There Are Too Many Of Us - 7.5/10
This is probably the one I've been least warm to the whole time, the beginning and end sound like SNES RPG music but it does pick up in the middle.

Ghost Ship - 10/10
This song surprised me. It has a soulful groove that I haven't heard from Damon since the first Gorillaz album.
The vocals are really crisp. Graham's guitar and saxophone tracks add some great atmosphere to it. Love that synth solo, too.

Pyongyang - 9.5/10
The live version is definitely a straight ten for me but this one hasn't warmed up to me quite enough to warrant that.

Ong Ong - 9/10
I was worried about the mix on this one because the live versions sounded kind of messy but it's way better than I thought it would be.
I like how the piano keeps soloing over everything else at the end.

Mirrorball - 10/10
This one's got a spaghetti western vibe to it, I love the string section and what Graham's doing with the reverb.
Streety's mix is right on the money too.

I've got to go, I might edit this later I'm kind of rushing now.

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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by Lt Pinkerton » 25 Apr 2015, 22:05

Gonna give it a go.

Lonesome Street - 8/10: Solid track, love Graham's part and the weird 'June will be over soon again' bit.
New World Towers - 5/10: The live version was one of the highlights for me, so I was a bit disappointed to discover that there's no 'seven on me/seven on the left hand' part here. Graham's guitar is still amazing though.
Go Out - 7,5/10: Again, a very solid song. Wasn't sure about it as a single but it totally fits within the mood of the album. Very anxiety inducing when being surrounded by other people on the bus/underground.
Ice Cream Man - 8/10: The nursery rhyme melody works perfectly for me, it gives the track a weird, scary Stephen King novel feeling. Lovely harmonies in that 'something new' bit.
Thought I Was a Spaceman - 9/10: It develops slowly but steadily and the electronic rhythm pattern turns out to be very grabbing. Damon's "I walked into a bar and raised hell" might be my favourite lyric from the record and it also sets the mood for Alex's and Dave's entrance.
I Broadcast - 7/10: Four choruses might be too much, but they're totally worth it. Great vocals from Damon in the first lines.
My Terracotta Heart - 9/10: One of the most beautiful songs that they've written. Graham's guitar lick in the chorus is chill-inducing and Damon's falsetto works perfectly.
There Are Too Many Of Us - 8,5/10: My new favourite military march. Another song that is great to listen to in crowded spaces. Alex's bass doesn't the love it deserves for the last two minutes.
Ghost Ship - 8/10: Would've fit perfectly in Plastic Beach. It also reminds me of a lot of SFA, as someone else said in some other thread.
Pyongyang - 8,5/10: Verses remind me of The Cure's darkest records somehow, while the chorus is classic Damon being epic. The electronic arrangements are amazing.
Ong Ong - 8/10: Only Ebenezer Scrooge could hate this song. Yeah, it's only three chords and the lyrics are lousy, but it's so catchy that I have nothing but love for it. Still I wished that the lalala's were more prominent.
Mirrorball - 9,5/10: This Is A Low 2.0. The arrangements may be one of my favourite ever on a Blur record and the chorus is astonishingly beautiful. Tear-inducing.

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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by anothermario » 26 Apr 2015, 01:36

1. Lonesome Street- 9.5 - Love it the more I hear it. Captures Blur perfectly, great first track. Only only only wish the "going down to lonesome street" part at the end was more of a traditional chorus. And the music video was better.

2. New World Towers- 4.5 - With more energy this song could have been really good, I love the lyrics... expected it to explode a bit just after the 2 minute mark. I think I'll want to skip this one until (if/when) it grows on me

3. Go Out- 10 - Loved it from day one. Love it even more now in context of the album. Reminds me of Leisure B-sides, with more swagger. And sexier

4. Ice Cream man- 10 - Might be my favourite on the album. Catchy and some great lyrics hiding in there (Tiananmen Square reference? Censorship? Mass production? hmm...)

5. I thought I was a spaceman - 6.5 - Don't love it as much as some people...takes a while to get going. But again really good lyrics...did he really write this all in 2 days in HK? anyway from 3:30ish onwards it's perfection.

6. I Broadcast - 7 - Does have that Popscene sound. And perfectly placed in the album, I think. Like BLUREMI with far better lyrics.

7. My Terracotta Heart - 6 - Does he rhyme summertime with summertime? Well that's lazy. Puts me off the rest of the song. But gotta admit it is quite pretty. Prefer the album version actually.

8. There are too many of us- 8.5 - As one person said ^ SNES RPG sounds haha. Apart from that, perfect song. Great lyrics again, one of the deeper messages in a Blur song, ever. Love the way it builds up as well. I also like the randomly thrown-together video.

9. Ghost ship - 10 - Coolest and most surprising song on the album. Would never have expected this, and wouldn't expect to love it so much. Very sweet piece of writing... "the light in your eyes I search for religiously"

10. Pyongyang - 10 - Finally, melancholy done perfectly on the album. Documentary made me appreciate it a lot more.

11. Ong Ong - 8 - I think I'd have loved this a lot more without the lalala's, like in the documentary. Still, catchy catchy. And again, nice placement in the album.

12. Mirrorball - 9.5 - Great closer. Between this, Lonesome Street and Go Out, I think we've got the perfect representation of the heart and soul of Blur. Just wish this song went on that minute or so longer
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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by munch » 26 Apr 2015, 05:30

davidsutter wrote: New World Towers - 9/10
Damon's put out a lot of this downtempo piano-based melancholy lately, luckily the others bring this song higher than anything on Everyday Robots.
I'd have love to have heard Lonely Press Play by Blur on this album.
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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by UnderThePuritan » 26 Apr 2015, 05:32

Or Hostiles. That is a beautiful song. So is History of a Cheating Heart for that matter!

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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by Neal Zeal » 26 Apr 2015, 07:07

Well I've still hardly heard any of the songs, so v looking forward to tomorrow. I heard Ong ong a couple of times on Julian holland's show and quite liked it although it reminded me of the verse to Shining Light but without a decent chorus or (any chorus at all). Also, heard Go out a Bit which I thought was pretty mediocre. However, sounds like these are 2 of the weakest songs on the album, and they may well grow on me.

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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by Bathstreet » 26 Apr 2015, 09:58

Love the record overall, though Ong Ong sounds a bit lazy for mine and Ice Cream Man and New World Towers are a little bit lower in quality than the others.

Love Thought I was a Spaceman and I Broadcast.

A great effort in 5 days and a few touch ups though - brilliant

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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by Rubi » 26 Apr 2015, 10:21

anothermario wrote:5. I thought I was a spaceman - 6.5 - Don't love it as much as some people...takes a while to get going. But again really good lyrics...did he really write this all in 2 days in HK? anyway from 3:30ish onwards it's perfection.
I don't think he wrote any of the lyrics in Hong Kong. He was there for only one day and a half, and it was all about recollecting the experience. Probably wrote everything back in London.

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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by ildi » 26 Apr 2015, 10:33

my terracotta heart reminds me of radiohead sooo soo much.

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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by Trimm Trabb » 27 Apr 2015, 10:46

Lonesome Street: 9/10 - Somewhere between For Tomorrow and Tracy Jacks and would feel bang at home on Parklife.

New World Towers: 6/10 - Slow and gentle but doesn't do enough to catch the ear

Go Out: 7/10 - Lacks a little something but still good (and has the disadvantage of being listened to lots for the last month or so)

Ice Cream Man: 3/10 - Gorillaz B-Side at best. Would work better without that wibble-wobble throughout and never quite takes off.

Thought I Was A Spaceman: 8/10 - Ethereal and very well-written, a strong piece throughout.

I Broadcast: 9/10 - Hankers back to Dan Abnormal and Popscene, a very bouncy listen and the Blur I like best.

My Terracotta Heart: 7/10 - A nice gentle piece which doesn't quick pick up, but doesn't always need to.

There Are Too Many Of Us: 8/10 - Full of noises and melodies that weave together nicely.

Ghost Ship: 6/10 - Good little chillout piece but doesn't stand out

Pyongyang: 9/10 - Very well pieced together and easy to listen to; almost has an Elbow ring about it.

Ong Ong: 10/10 - Really disappointed to lukewarm responses to this on the forum. This is the standout song for me and one of their best.

Mirrorball: 8/10 - Remember The Tourist from OK Computer? A softer version of that, but a strong ending to the album.

Overall: 8/10. I'm just delighted to have something new, and there are bits of Blur in there I remember from my childhood. There are some barnstormers on there and TMW has plenty of replay value. Well done boys.
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Blurvert's Album Review

Post by blurvert » 02 May 2015, 13:59

I know the forum was divided on when to listen to the album, I myself listened to GO, TATOU, LS a few and several time on YouTube, I listen to the live show once and their JH performance only once. I guess I just felt old school in my ways, I remember listening to s/t, 13 & TT for the first time on a physical copy and didn’t want this time to be any different. Temptation was curbed massively as I spent 10 days in Budapest until a couple of days before it was realised.

Lonesome Street
It’s the signature Blur song without it being a parody of their selves like The Puritan. It may not be, or ever be the best song on the album but it is just right in such a wide gap in albums. I wasn’t sure if I’d like graham singing a chorus on his own, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t like graham vocals. He’s perfect on his solo albums as a creaky indie boy and Tender would only be half as good without him. But I have swiftly been proved wrong and wouldn’t change LS is anyway. (I still can’t get that infernal image of that bloke dancing to it in the video though)

New World Towers
I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t compare anything on THE MAGIC WHIP to any of their solo work (I’d be horrified if there was a Wigwam) but NWT sounds like something off TGTBATQ. It’s a decently good song, thought it hasn’t grasped my attention…yet.

Go Out
When I first head GO “I wasn’t sure” but after hearing it live and certainly on context to the album it has leaped above the sky. Everything here is excellent. It has the perfect hedonist energy just needed for an energetic blur song, Damon’s sleazy vocals, grahams anti-guitar thrash, snazzy bassline the whole distortion I love to bits

Ice Cream Man
Just by the title, this song intrigued me the most. The fact that it was missed out of their live broadcasted set fuelled my curiosity. And I love it. Definitely the most peculiar song on the album. I adore the Sonic/Mario blips! That’s what makes it really stand out for me. I do hope though, the song isn’t literally about an ice cream man!

Thought I Was A Spaceman
A digital sounding dreamy mix, I like this song a little more each time I hear it. I’ve not really listened to the lyrics on THE MAGIC WHIP, but these seem to be my favourite. A keen reminder why Blur are such an exciting band. I love Graham’s vocals too – he’s never sounded so good. More captivating Sega/Nintendo sounds – the wonder of Damon’s iPad I guess!

I Broadcast
When I heard this live on the TV & laptop it became an instant favourite, their trademark rocky tune...though on the album it lacks the spirit (but maybe that’s because I’m so overwhelmed by the rest of the songs between it.)

My Terracotta Heart
This is one I couldn’t wait to listen to in all its glory, aka The Ballad of Albarn & Coxon, and yes, it’s another highlight and I’m sure it’ll inevitably make the live set list. Beautiful lyrics, though I can’t imagine having a friendship like this, maybe between me and my ex, but she’s more NDLTR at the moment. The gospel like “ahhhs” really make it the cats eyes.

There Are Too Many Of Us
This was my favourite of the three that were premiered. I thought it’s go on to be in the top 3 tracks of THE MAGIC WHIP but it has since dropped. Not that I like it any less…but I have heard the other songs. I love Dave’s work on here, that’s what makes it really stand out. Not to forget the distorted background vocals, it really builds it – much like the demented turkey noises in Beetlebum.

Ghost Ship
Again, I really don’t want to compare any of this work to their other solo stuff, but this wouldn’t be out of place on Plastic Beach. I know I sound lazy in saying that. Maybe the most less-familiar Blur sounds on the album. Another song that has yet to grab me by the pubes and heart ventricles but I’m sure it will soon

Another song I was really looking forward to listening too as the band spoke of it highly, and I have to say – it hasn't seized me yet. Not that it’s such a bad thing; many of my favourite songs (not just Blurs) didn’t capture me for a while or two). I really love the clucks of Graham’s guitar here.

Ong Ong
How has this song not been out for years already? After only listening to it once I woke up with it in my head. “I want to be with you” is what I’ll be doing a yell sing to on my next night out at 3:28 in the morning. I only worry as it is such a likable catchy tune, it’ll be quick to grow thin. In fact I was so excited by Ong Ong when I heard it for the first time; I didn’t get time to enjoy Mirrorball…

…this is the perfect album closer. It’s the moodiest song on the album, ther best way to go out with an opening like LS and it following OO. Another fine guitar hook by Coxon! (and remember the Mirror Press bullshit a couple of Years ago)

There is not one dull moment on here. This is why I fucking love Blur so much; every album has so much range! Mirrorball, Ong Ong, Wish I was A Space Man all by the same band in one album. I was so nervous about a new Blur album and yet wanted one so much. Since 2009. we had Fools Day – a decent enough Trademark Blur song, it’s good enough, but is only filler / B-side material compared to THE MAGIC WHIP. Under The Westway – a great tune, but it’s a ballad about a London bridge. I don’t feel its ever a song I could belt my lungs out to. The Puritain – kind of a parody Blur song. The bleeps kind of annoy me. If it was the B to UTWit’s be far more likable.
I can imagine in10 years THE MAGIC WHIP I’ll stack in the top 3 Blur albums. It’ll take a lot to beat 13 & s/t and as much as I adore Park/Modern Life THE MAGIC WHIP is just more mature.

So currently after only five days os listening. My top five are (in no particular order)
Go Out
Ong Ong
My Terracotta Heart
Wish I was a Spaceman
Ice Cream Man

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Re: Blurvert's Album Review

Post by rich » 02 May 2015, 15:48

I put me trousers on, have a cup of tea, and think about leaving the house...
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Re: Magic Whip - song by song impressions

Post by Miki » 02 May 2015, 19:52

I'm not great like some of you at writing about music (I'm rather better at listening to and feeling it :P ), but after a few days of incessant listening here are my impressions:

Lonesome Street: 8/10 - Classic Blur, this goes back to the heydays of the Britpop trilogy MLIS/Parklife/The Great Escape. I like Graham breaking through with his vocals, and the whistling.

New World Tower: 7/10 - this is probably the most Damon Moment on the album, wouldn't have sounded too out of place on Everyday Robots. It is also the song that least convinces me.

Go Out: 8/10 - first single from the album, this has grown on me since its release.

Icecream Man: 8/10 - Gorillaz territory. The best kind of Gorillaz.

Thought I was a Spaceman: 7.5/10 - this is a strange song. Every time it starts I kind of glaze over it... then suddenly the drums kick in and it's all happening and I have to take notice.

I Broadcast: 8/10 - back to classic Blur! Fits in with all manners of Blur songs from Popscene onwards. Even Damon's vocals something out of nothing sounds so familiar that I'm suddenly back in 1994.

My Terracotta Heart: 9/10 - this is a beautiful song. Again, it has a kind of Think Tank/Gorillaz/Everyday Robots vibe. But Graham's presence is very much felt in the heartfelt guitar lament.

There Are Too Many of Us: 9/10 - this is a standout track in that it doesn't really sound like anything Blur have done before. I can find points of reference to the past in most of the others, but this one is of a kind. The instrumental bridge at 2:37 is sublime.

Ghost Ship: 10/10 - Ghost Ship starts the run of my favourite tracks of the album. It's just so groovy and loose. Big shout for Alex's handywork here, and a nod to Dave's groove. I especially enjoy Damon's voice on this one. Graham's funky guitar glimmers. This is such great song!

Pyongyang: 10/10 - It starts as a David Bowie-esque track and turns in one of those epic soaring choruses Damon does so well. Graham's guitar adds to the melancholy. They surpassed themselves.

Ong Ong: 9/10 - because Blur can do poignant and chirpy equally well. If you don't like this song, there is no hope for you :lol: Joyful, catchy, memorable (the kind of tune that sticks in your head after first listen!) and infectious. Will be a fab sing along at Hyde Park! :mrgreen:

Mirrorball: 10/10 - amazing closure, with the oriental flavour that themes the album in full flow, guitar flourishes remindful of Battery in Your Leg. Beautiful.

TMW is rapidly becoming my favourite Blur album and the closest they have come to perfection imo

Overall it's a definite 9/10!

P.S. I like to include Y'all Doomed and score it an 8/10 for sheer boldness!
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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by Dekagamer7X9 » 30 Jun 2016, 02:20

I suppose I'll "review" the album here... I'll go track by track.

1. Lonesome Street
Great opening track, very reminiscent of the Parklife era. Graham's verse are especially great. 9/10
2. New World Towers
Not my favorite track. It grew on me, as I initially hated it. It's not that amazing of a track, but still sounds pretty great. However, it doesn't fit well as the second track on the album, especially since it's between two fast-paced rock tracks. 5/10
3. Go Out
Another track that grew on me. This track to me is reminiscent of their eponymous 5th studio album, and is just as good as the tracks from that album (except Essex Dogs). However, I don't think this was the best choice for the first preview of The Magic Whip. 7/10
4. Ice Cream Man
A fun little track, with interesting lyrics. Could be a bit less acoustic, IMO. 6/10
5. Thought I Was A Spaceman
The album's longest, and best song. This song starts out slowly, with its electronic beats and moon landing audio, making it reminiscent of Strange News From Another Star. But the longer it goes on, the better it gets. Until you reach Graham's verse, and a phenomenal guitar solo. 10/10
6. I Broadcast
A nice catchy track, but the Hong Kong theme is a bit too strong on it. Do away with the oriental style, and it would sound much better (like it does live). 5/10
7. My Terracotta Heart
Almost a perfect song. Almost. This song is a great ballad, and is close to being my favorite on the album. However, the percussion is so f**king loud it ruins the song. 4/10 (would 9/10 if the percussion was quieter)
8. There Are Too Many Of Us
A great melancholy song that isn't too dreary. Just wish it's instrumental break was longer. 9/10
9. Ghost Ship
A blue-eyed soul song. And it's great. IMO, one of Damon's greatest vocal performances of all time. 9/10
10. Pyongyang
A good ballad, but it doesn't really change too often, and to me comes off as a tad boring. Wish it was more varied. 7/10
11. Ong Ong
A great pop song, and obviously the most radio-friendly of the bunch. However, I feel it does get worse the more you listen to it. 7/10
12. Mirrorball
Unfortunately, the album ends on a sour note. I have no idea why, but I absolutely hate this song. Perhaps it's too dreary. Perhaps it's too boring. All I know is that I really don't like it. I can see why others may like it, though. 3/10

Overall the album's pretty good, but suffers from a tad bit too much melancholy in my opinion, like Think Tank and Plastic Beach. However, there's 1 song that's on the Japanese version of the album and was also released as a non-album single. And it'd be a shame for me not to review this track.

13. Y'all Doomed
This track. What a shame it was left off the album, because it would've been the album's best track. Pure rock n' roll. I really feel this song would've made a much better end to the album than Mirrorball. The vocals may be a bit odd, but I think they fit. Still, in order to listen to this song I had to snag it from youtube, since I can't buy the single or the Japanese Magic Whip. Here's hoping Blur one day releases a "deluxe" edition of The Magic Whip with this on it. 11/10

My final rating for the album as a whole: 8/10. A great comeback for Blur. It's a pretty solid album so let's just hope it isn't their last.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by aldamasta » 30 Jun 2016, 21:26

Very nice review. And thanks for mentioning that Ghost Ship is one of Damon's best vocal performances ever, cos it definitely is!

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