This week’s reviews: Pixies & Damon Albarn

Pixies‘ new album Indie Cindy is getting a lot of hate. Actually, it got a lot of hate before the album was even released.  One should note that the “reunion” has existed longer than the band did in their first run (Original band: 1986-1993; Reunion: 2004-present). In general, “reunion” albums are often unfairly judged. And as far as this one, I believe that is the case. One cannot expect a band to play the same songs forever. A band has to create new content in other to keep their own sanity.

The album is not all bad. With this album, which was preceded by 3 EPs released from 2013-2014, there songs that try to recapture the magic but some material feels wholly new. “Bag Boy,” “Green and Blue,” and “Another Toe in the Ocean” were three tracks I picked out from the EPs as memorable ones. These songs are memorable on the full-length album as well.

No album can compete with their masterpieces: 1989’s Doolittle or 1988’s Surfer Rosa. However, it is a good effort for this band. And if releasing it means that I may finally get my chance to actually see them live, I’m OK with that.

Everyday Robots is the first solo album from Damon Albarn, the former frontman of Blur, Goriliaz, & other projects. As mentioned in last week’s singles review, Damon Albarn is talented English musician, composer, and producer and this album highlights his talents.

The album contains a variety of different styles including soul, folk, and electronica. He  strategically enlists the talents of Brian Eno and The Leytonstone City Mission Choir. “Mr Tembo” is an Africana jam. “Lonely Press Play,” the song the precedes “Mr. Tembo,” is more of a straight forward ballad. The juxtaposition of “If you’re lonely, press play” with “When I’m lonely, I press play,” embraces listener while keeping some emphasis on the songwriter.

If there had to be a theme for the album, I’d suggest it is one of general discomfort. The song “Everyday Robots” expresses discomfort with the technologically reliant world. In “The Selfish Giant,” Albarn laments “Its hard to be a lover when the TV’s on/and nothing’s in your eye.”  Overall, Albarn tells a great story. The album takes the best parts of his previous projects and streamlines it into a cohesive and charming work.


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