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Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 01:26
by KingLouieLouie76
Upon first listen I'm mixed..... "Poison Tree" and "Drifters & Trawlers" are the tracks with the sudden positive impact on me..... "The Last Man To Leave" is nothing but merely filler, but it does fit the context of the entire album...... I wasn't all too excited about the title track, but "Gun to the Head" is starting to grow on me.... I guess right now it's a 6.5/10 but that can most certainly change....


Although, I'm shocked the album only clocks in at 37:28 minutes.... I loved on the self-titled albums the songs the entire band jammed on and it sounded amazing from the audio I heard from the live performances.

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 01:32
by tom_cas1
The Great Fire is spectacular. FUCK.

Rich - I'm in the US. Don't see it on iTunes Music yet. I'm guessing it'll be on at midnight.

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 01:35
by TripleJay97
It gets better and better and better on repeated listens. This is the strongest album Damon's released in years.

All of the songs are too good for me to pick favourites. I tried to narrow it down to four but I just can't.

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 01:39
by metalhipslop
yeah yeah. it's so good. I love Last Man To Leave... I can see how people can see it as filler but I don't... The word filler gets thrown around too much.I think challenging is a better word. Sure, it's odd.. and kind creepy. That's why I love it. reminds me of the best of darkest David bowie and Scott Walker. but it is also very unique. Especially with that video! So cool.... the blur(pun intended)-ed bar scene behind puppet Damon.

Yes. The Great Fire is amazing!

as I've said, but i'm too excited i'll say it again. it's better than The Now Now and much much better than Humanz.

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 01:46
by TripleJay97
metalhipslop wrote:yeah yeah. it's so good. I love Last Man To Leave... I can see how people can see it as filler but I don't... The word filler gets thrown around too much.I think challenging is a better word. Sure, it's odd.. and kind creepy. That's why I love it. reminds me of the best of darkest David bowie and Scott Walker. but it is also very unique. Especially with that video! So cool.... the blur(pun intended)-ed bar scene behind puppet Damon.
I completely agree. The Scott Walker vibe is turned up to 11 on Last Man. It almost feels like slam poetry, or one of the bizarre jazz interludes on To Pimp a Butterfly. The 3/4 chaotic instrumentation towards the end kind of reminds me of the earlier Cardiacs records too.

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 01:51
by metalhipslop
Oh yeah! For sure man. Definitely some Cardiacs in there too. A lot of my favourite artists when I was in high school seem to be referenced in some way musically in this album. It all seems to be there

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 05:12
by aldamasta
Lady Boston may be the most beautiful song Damon has ever written. It’s so majestic.

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 05:25
by windymiller
Amazon not shipped my Deluxe copy yet, and its only on Prime Music Unlimited :cry:
Looks like they are going to make me wait till Tuesday for delivery and I get to hear it :cry:

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 05:31
by tom_cas1
I’m five songs in. Merrie Land and Gun To The Head sounding better and better with each passing song. Nineteen Seventeen is a warmer. The Great Fire has some incredible moments, wow. That descending chord progression is out of this world. Lady Boston is divine.

I’m already half way through the album! Please don’t end!

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 05:46
by tom_cas1
Just finished the album. Amazing. Simply breathtaking. The Last Man To Leave is the only song I haven’t fully warmed to yet but even then the album is a solid 8/10 for me at this point. Potentially 9/10 after a few more listens.

This was worth waiting 11 years for. Wow.

I think they should have released The Truce Of Twilight as the first single though. A no brainer, catchy as fuck and very Clash-esque.

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 06:58
by Sledge Hammer
tom_cas1 wrote:Just finished the album. Amazing. Simply breathtaking. The Last Man To Leave is the only song I haven’t fully warmed to yet but even then the album is a solid 8/10 for me at this point. Potentially 9/10 after a few more listens.

This was worth waiting 11 years for. Wow.

I think they should have released The Truce Of Twilight as the first single though. A no brainer, catchy as fuck and very Clash-esque.
...and a load of rubbish by next week :D :lol:

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 07:52
by Pavlich
First... Drifters & Trawlers... I was thinking where was that melody from, maybe even possibly a kid's song? It's the verses of Six Months In A Leaky Boat!

Anyway, I weirdly like the ad-libbed feeling lyrical flub in Merrie Land, it just feels authentic and rugged but mostly considered. There aren't many recent Damon Albarn projects where that comes to mind.

1917's opening and vibe, those sick rhythm sections, is probably better as an idea than a song. Damon sorta butchers the vocal melody. He makes it sound too stuttery. I dunno. The beautiful floating string section is amazing though. So British. Reminds me of that scene in Wallace & Gromit where Gromit's outside in the rain... to me, as a kid, that was what I wanted to see and do and feel in London, and this has brought back that feeling of desolation. The lingering little synth. Damn. It's a shame the middle is a bit boring because the start and end is actually exciting and makes me feel something. Damon, you haven't done that for a while!

My main issue here is the production. The first had a really unique vibe and it actually escalated the songs. So easily, they could've been Beatles-recalling rock, bass, and drum tracks but they sounded quaint and unearthed. You just felt like flicking through a book. In my head, I just imagined these rickety old boats, broken floorboards... it sounded like the guitar was half termite eaten or the piano keys were just about to fall off. This feels a little more generic. Also, the strings really feel phoned in. Damon can nail them at times but it feels too obvious and too lazy here. Yeah yeah they're supposed to sound epic, sad, or anthemic but on this it just feels pretty ehhhh.

The one thing I like is it's trying to do something new. There's a lot of genres hitting one another (British 60s Beatles rock, dub, ska beats, very modern English vocal delivery, quaint old seaside opera sort of sounds, doowop). My main issue is Damon borrows too much from other projects and has periods where he just falls back into an instrument or two but here, he's doing something new. Probably the other lads' influence.

While I'm not sure how successful it is all together – Gun To The Head is a great title for an album with Brexit in the mind, but a shocking song – but I respect it. I think that's what most reviewers and listeners are liking, the fact it's doing something else and it's not falling into the traps of late 2010s Damon Albarn nor general trends.

Anyway I'm only a few songs in but I'll stop for now... and enjoy it... Birra Moretti on special, beautiful Melbourne afternoon (they exist?), day off, girlfriend's at work, me alone... I love the textures here, the sounds and the way they make me feel... sometimes a certain preset or choice of guitar can say more than a beautiful lyric. I like that this is doing that. The greatest Damon always has that – Demon Days, This Is A Low, 13, even parts of his solo record...

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 08:09
by stephen
I'm getting through as many as I can this morning, I'm very impressed so far. Each song sounds different but follow an obvious topic. It couldn't be better timed.

I wonder how Arctic Monkeys feel about the album?

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 10:22
by lumaka
Not so enthusiastic 3/5 from The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/ ... and-review

Personally I love these melodies that are almost there but never quite materialise out of the mist and dislocated, discombobulated mood.
And writing thatIt’s also worth wondering whether a 50-year-old millionaire pop star is the best person to sum up the state of the nation is a bit bitchy, isn't it?

Re: TGTBTQ: Merrie Land Album Thread

Posted: 16 Nov 2018, 10:45
by stephen
lumaka wrote:Not so enthusiastic 3/5 from The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/ ... and-review

Personally I love these melodies that are almost there but never quite materialise out of the mist and dislocated, discombobulated mood.
And writing thatIt’s also worth wondering whether a 50-year-old millionaire pop star is the best person to sum up the state of the nation is a bit bitchy, isn't it?
Ah the classic, you have money so you can't have an opinion.

Strange to think they gave the Now Now more rating than this album. I like both but this album sounds a bit more complete.