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Willow

Title - 'The Good, the Bad & the Queen' (Virgin)
Artist - The Good, the Bad & the Queen

Let's being by saying that this album DOES NOT sound like Blur, Gorillaz, The Clash or The Verve. If you are expecting at least one song to sound like any of the aforementioned, you will be greatly disappointed. That said it is also fair to mention that the talent from those three band members come together in an interesting fusion of skill and concept.

Damon Albarn has said The Good, the bad and the queen is not the name of the band but of the album, and his four piece orchestra is much more difficult to explain that what journalists or even reviewers would like to narrow them down to. And that could well be why this record results so rich in concept and so ethereal in execution.

The somber and at times extremely claustrophobic sound serves to transport the listener to different aspects of London. Just as the lyrics cannot be constricted to either pop or punk, there is a certain mood that prevails all along the album, and it maye be (dare to say) formulated as an electropop-rock-folk allusion to the background of each of the players. "Kingdom of doom", "Northern Whale" and "80's life" are the standout tracks, but it is in "Herculean" that they summon up all that feeling of overwhelm and almost despair one gets to know while listening to this. Closing track, which happens to have the same name as the album, is a prolonged exectuion that quite doesn't fit with the rest of tracks but treats us to the showcase of wild drums, exquisite guitars and the omnipresent, yet vague vocals that we have come to indulge in.

If you find this review confusing then you have a leading point to listen to this record. I did not approach it thinking it would remind me of Blur or Verve, but in a way it strives to get past that, and in my opinion it takes it to another level that even they might be wonder about. Call it an acquired taste, The Good, the bad and the queen is an album to savor more than once and discover along with your own secrets.





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