Release Date: Sep 23, 2008
Record label: XL
Genre(s): Rock, Experimental, Classical, Opera
These days, Damon Albarn seems to be making a career out of doing things he shouldn't. Every shred of historical evidence suggests that it's a bad idea for rock stars to dabble in world music, or form supergroups, or get involved in the world of musical theatre. He's already done the first two with an assurance that verges on the maddening, but the latter seems a tougher call still.
At the height of Blur's popularity, Damon Albarn casually let it be known that he harbored a desire to create musical theater -- a revelation that wasn't exactly a surprise to anybody intimately familiar with the theatricality of Blur's Brit-pop trilogy, particularly portions of The Great Escape which felt as if they were designed for the stage. Albarn abandoned an explicit music hall bent in the aftermath of Blur vs. Oasis, first digging deeply into American indie rock and then getting ever artier, eventually abandoning the very idea of bands themselves in favor of conceptual projects like The Good, the Bad & the Queen.