Blur - The Magic Whip

Discussion about the band and related projects.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by munch » 27 Dec 2018, 18:02

great
Last edited by munch on 14 Apr 2019, 06:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 20 Feb 2019, 00:48

Today marks the 4th anniversary when we found out much to our gratification that Blur officially announced that they were going to release their first full album since "TT" and obviously the first one w/Graham since "13". The news came with such immense hype and fanfare and of course we also heard "Go Out" for the first time much to our amazement and distinct pleasure.

I have been one of the most enthusiastic of "TMW" since that time and still listen its entirety at least once per month. I know most didnt receive the each and every single track like I did, but to me they are all outstanding! I only continue to enjoy this album upon further listen and rank it as my 3rd fave Blur album (just behind "13" and "Blur"). To me it has aged brilliantly and I still hope that Damon and the boys reunite and record newer material soon, because "TMW" has always had me yearning for more!
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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by northernmonkey » 05 Mar 2019, 11:46

I still love TMW to the day and would maybe rank it at number 3 too, although number 1 & 2 changes often. I did feel Blur played it safe with TMW, it was different enough and I think it was a wise choice considering the time between albums, but I would like them to go more experimental next time, a bit more 13 and lots of noisey guitars.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by Vern » 06 Mar 2019, 15:09

northernmonkey wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 11:46
I still love TMW to the day and would maybe rank it at number 3 too, although number 1 & 2 changes often. I did feel Blur played it safe with TMW, it was different enough and I think it was a wise choice considering the time between albums, but I would like them to go more experimental next time, a bit more 13 and lots of noisey guitars.
How could they play it safe if the entire album is based off jams worth several days worth in Hong Kong?

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by northernmonkey » 07 Mar 2019, 10:50

Vern wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 15:09
northernmonkey wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 11:46
I still love TMW to the day and would maybe rank it at number 3 too, although number 1 & 2 changes often. I did feel Blur played it safe with TMW, it was different enough and I think it was a wise choice considering the time between albums, but I would like them to go more experimental next time, a bit more 13 and lots of noisey guitars.
How could they play it safe if the entire album is based off jams worth several days worth in Hong Kong?
Basing songs off Jams, doesn't mean they haven't played it safe. Graham and Stephen Street did a lot of work on these jams, parts were added throughout the process and unfortunately we don't really know the before and after results, apart from the odd snippet. My opinion of TMW playing it a little safe, takes nothing away from the album.

I was referring more to the sound of the album, songs like Lonesome Street (which I love), Mirror Ball, Ong Ong etc could have easily come off one of their other albums. Other albums have been more challenging and seen them go in totally different directions. I see TMW as a bit of a best of in the sound department, not saying it doesn't have new idea's/sounds such as Thought I was a Spaceman and Ghost Ship but to me it feels instantly familiar.

I am glad in a way after so long they made an album like TMW, just great songs with the Blur essence.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 07 Mar 2019, 18:49

Blur were at their most adventurous/innovative between post "13" until Graham's departure (they really exhibited that during that Bill Laswell session). I feel though that was when the four of them were at their most cohesive together and to not record proper for so long as band detracted away from that to a certain extent. "Fool's Day" (still to me easily within the top-5 songs they've done since their "reunion") was quite simplistic, but they apparently recorded it quite hastily and were trying to get back into that "groove". "UTW" they started to expand their sound again and "The Puritan" was to be better captured live than it was on the studio version and unfortunately we never experienced the extent of that since it was omitted from the Hyde Park experience.

I feel though w/"TMW" they began to become a more complete band again and I wish they immediately followed that up with another album because they had their momentum and an immediate spark, but unfortunately that continues to be detracted away gradually as their remain apart from each other and that more than likely means they will never reach a high peak of innovation together again.
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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by jt83 » 04 May 2019, 09:24

I would've settled for a Magic Whip EP with the existing first six songs. The last half just doesn't do it for me.

Even this conceptual EP is just alright...Lonesome Street is weird in that it starts catchy, slows down, then finally finds a chorus, NWT is slow going (as is Spaceman), as enjoyable as Go Out is it doesn't have an appreciable chorus to my ears...a bit more polish would've been nice.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by TracyJosh » 14 Dec 2019, 12:40

Listened to TMW the other evening for the first time in a good while...

I like every track on a surface level but I feel it lacks the emotional and creative depth of other Blur albums. This may be purely circumstantial due to the way in which it came to be, but I feel the songs lack a bit of deliberateness? Having said that, I may listen with a slightly predetermined view given I know the accidental nature of the albums creation. It just makes me think "This is good, but what if these sessions had just been the start of a more organised writing process!?". It's like an album full of the good filler tracks on S/T or The Great Escape. There's no hint of a Beetlebum or The Universal. As a songwriter myself, I didn't feel hugely inspired by anything on it, which is strange for a Blur album.

I guess what I'm trying to say is by Blur's standards it feels a bit half arsed! That is not to say that in general terms it isn't a good album.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by dparrott » 15 Dec 2019, 02:30

The songs on TMW were not "written" but "assembled".

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by Neal Zeal » 17 Dec 2019, 12:54

TracyJosh wrote:
14 Dec 2019, 12:40
Listened to TMW the other evening for the first time in a good while...

I like every track on a surface level but I feel it lacks the emotional and creative depth of other Blur albums. This may be purely circumstantial due to the way in which it came to be, but I feel the songs lack a bit of deliberateness? Having said that, I may listen with a slightly predetermined view given I know the accidental nature of the albums creation. It just makes me think "This is good, but what if these sessions had just been the start of a more organised writing process!?". It's like an album full of the good filler tracks on S/T or The Great Escape. There's no hint of a Beetlebum or The Universal. As a songwriter myself, I didn't feel hugely inspired by anything on it, which is strange for a Blur album.

I guess what I'm trying to say is by Blur's standards it feels a bit half arsed! That is not to say that in general terms it isn't a good album.
Agree with much of this. I thought the album was duff at the time and I still do - couldn't believe the reception it received which was surely largely due to the length of time they'd been away and just general respect for Damon as one of the great songwriters of our time. The best I can say is that it's fairly pleasant background music.
I'm not a songwriter but I do play guitar and uke. Whenever I hear a good song, I always learn the chords so I can strum and sing along. I've learnt a ton of Blur songs in the past but there's nothing on TMW that I have any urge to play. The best songs on it would have been disappointing b-sides of singles back in the mid 90s. Anyway, at least they are still on good enough terms to record and play together. Fingers crossed they'll make a much better album together in the not too distant future.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by tom_cas1 » 06 Jan 2020, 00:25

For me it’s still a great album and always will be. And I have many great memories that resurface when I listen to the songs, including being at the shows in the UK. Just a great time. I love it. :)
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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by stephen » 06 Jan 2020, 10:42

I think they are very well polished songs but at the same time they don't offer anything new or inspiring. I think the great escape has more replayability but it's still an album I enjoy(ed).

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by Styopa » 07 Jan 2020, 12:43

For me, a lot of the songs have the good beginnings of songs but they never really get going. They sort of plateau at a level which makes them sound like the band has run out of ideas and/or time or effort. I would probably put New World Towers, Ice Cream Man, I Thought I Was Spaceman, I Broadcast and There Are Too Many of Us in that category. They're not bad songs as such it's just they never seem to reach their potential.

Also I've always felt New World Towers doesn't really fit on the album where it is, at track 2. I think the album would have a much better flow going from Lonesome Street straight to Go Out. I think Go Out is very good and was worthy of being the lead single. It sounds grungy and poppy at the same and also quintessentially Blur but not at all in a cliche'd sounding away.

I like Lonesome Street but there is something very Blur by numbers sounding about it. It doesn't really feel like a band operating at any sort of creative peak. Ong Ong has a similar feel about it, even though it is also enjoyable. Mirrorball I think is quite forgettable.

That leaves My Terracotta Heart, Ghost Ship, and Pyongyang. MTH is by no means one of my favourite Blur tracks, but it does feel like at least the band are trying to break some new ground creatively. It is a bit of a dirge but I find it slightly more satisfying than some of the other songs on the album. Ghost Ship and Pyongyang on the other hand are great, great songs and worthy of consideration of inclusion on a top 25 Blur tracks compilation, along with Go Out.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by MsMagicAmerica » 19 Jan 2020, 13:30

I don’t remember what I Gabe it when it first came out, but I know I overrated it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the album. I have some fond memories because of it like being second row at their show in Madison Square Garden.

I’m not really fond of I Broadcast, Ong Ong, or Spaceman. They’re ok, but boring to me. Pyongyang for me is the best song on the whole album. I think it’s one of the best songs Damon has done in quiet a while.

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Re: Blur - The Magic Whip

Post by dparrott » 25 Jan 2020, 06:52

Best album since TGE for me. Amazing what a good producer can do.

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