Blur: The Magic Whip review – friends reunited for a beautiful comeback

Graham Coxon

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Blur’s made-in-Hong-Kong album, their first for 12 years, overflows with pretty songs and touchingly reveals a band now fortunately reconciled

There are two sorts of band re-formation. The first is so compellingly simple that the “basic” bands that haven’t finished it now appear weirdly anomalous. You bury your differences, a course of eased by the passing of time, the sagacity that comes with age and, regularly, the promise of a whopping cheque: if the previous 10 years or so have informed us something about musicians, it’s that few things are as effective at resolving these bitter, decade-long feuds over guitar overdubs or backstage catering preparations or the drummer’s style in wives as the prospect of paying off one’s mortgage. You then rehearse, guide exhibits, and knock out the hits, understanding the gang will probably be so overwhelmed by nostalgia they gained’t complain even if your singer feels like a man who’s clambered on stage at a karaoke night time after six pints, wrested control of the microphone and started bellowing down it, the Stone Roses having apparently reunited specifically to show this.

The second includes truly recording new material, and seems infinitely tough, fraught with the issues: not clumsily besmirching your personal legacy, making music that identifiably matches together with your again catalogue without merely showing to pastiche previous glories. Certainly, it’s proved tough enough to convey reunions to an finish: Kim Deal left the Pixies; the Stone Roses and Pulp clearly decided it wasn’t well worth the aggro, whereas Jerry Dammers just lately noted that his want to document new songs was among the many causes he swiftly exited the reconstituted Specials.

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