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 happily reconciled

There are two sorts of band re-formation. The primary is so compellingly simple that the “basic” bands that haven’t achieved it now appear weirdly anomalous. You bury your variations, a process eased by the passing of time, the sagacity that comes with age and, regularly, the promise of a whopping cheque: if the past 10 years or so have advised us something about musicians, it’s that few things are as effective at resolving those bitter, decade-long feuds over guitar overdubs or backstage catering arrangements or the drummer’s taste in wives as the prospect of paying off one’s mortgage. Then you definitely rehearse, guide exhibits, and knock out the hits, understanding the gang can be so overwhelmed by nostalgia they gained’t complain even if your singer seems like a person 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 prove this.

The second includes truly recording new material, and appears infinitely tough, fraught with the issues: not clumsily besmirching your personal legacy, making music that identifiably matches together with your back catalogue with out merely appearing to pastiche past glories. Certainly, it’s proved tough sufficient to deliver reunions to an end: 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 report new songs was among the many reasons he swiftly exited the reconstituted Specials.

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