If what Blur was going for with their new album 'The Magic Whip,' was loneliness, then they got it.
Holed up in a tiny studio in Hong Kong for the first time in 12 years, the four members of Blur created a twelve-track commentary on how strange the world still is, even after all of these years.
Known for their political and social messages since their first album in 1991, this time the inspiration for much of the new material came from the overwhelming feeling of detachment. There are so many people in the world, and so much technology meant to connect us, but often we are as alone as ever.
In one track, "There Are Too Many of Us," lyricist Damon Albaras reflects on an Australian hostage crisis he once saw on TV. "For a moment I was dislocated by terror on the loop elsewhere," he admits in his lyrics. He wasn't scared or shocked by the events unfolding, just disconnected, detached. Technology has made our world smaller, but it hasn’t made us any less isolated. Ease of access doesn’t equal closeness.
Personally, I wasn't blown away with the first listen, but it grew on me more on the second listen. I think I like the idea of the album, and the overall feeling you get from it, but can't pick out something that really grabs me about the project. 'Ghost Ship' was the first track I really liked on its own, same with 'Ong Ong.' 'Lonesome Street' sounds like a cousin of 'Country House' so naturally I like that track as well.
I might return to it for a another try, but I think I will just stick to my classic Blur.