Release Date: Jan 25, 2005
Record label: Astralwerks / Parlophone
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
It's suitably perverse that Graham Coxon released his first full-fledged pop album, Happiness in Magazines, in 2004, the year after his former bandmates in Blur tipped the scale in favor of the indie art rock he championed while he was in the band. Coxon always functioned as a passive-aggressive catalyst in the band, pushing songs forward and twisting them inside out with his thrilling, fluid guitar. He was raised on the same British punk and pop as his former collaborator Damon Albarn -- the same stack records by the Smiths, the Specials, and the Jam -- but he had an instinct to pursue a different path than prevailing pop culture, leading Albarn down the path to the Britpop of Parklife and the American-indie pastiche of Blur and 13.
Judging by his past four solo albums, the prospect of Graham Coxon abandoning his deliberately wilful, largely miserable, self-aware lo-fi doodlings seemed as likely as Damon Albarn being best man at Liam Gallagher's wedding. But times have changed, and Coxon is celebrating his emancipation from Britain's best-loved Britpop band by embracing everything Blur once held dear. Never has getting the sack sounded so much fun.