The Magic Whip

Blur

André

Whilst I wasn’t expecting a massively triumphant return from the giants of Britpop, I was at least hoping for a satisfying listen. Instead, The Magic Whip is a rather unbalanced comeback—a tired album that relies too heavily on its somber tone, resulting in some forgettable and lifeless songs that drift by in apathetic fashion. There are undoubtedly some lovely moments here; it’s just a shame the frustrating pacing of the album smothers them.

6 10

Favourite tracks // Mirrorball
­                                  Ghost Ship
­                                    My Terracotta Heart


Fred

It’s a pleasant, if unspectacular listen. There are high water marks (“I Broadcast” has a lovely 2 Tone vibe and “Mirrorball” is a fine closer) but for the most part the album doesn’t really inspire much comment. A good few tracks are the victims of bizarre pacing. It’s frustrating. I’m surprised it has been quite so well received. The best thing I can say about The Magic Whip is that it prompted me to revisit Blur’s older stuff.

6 10

Favourite tracks // I Broadcast
­                                  Lonesome Street
­                                    Mirrorball


Andrew

There’s no getting past the fact that this was mostly recorded in five days, and it was originally just a jam session. There are some catchy tracks here and new sounds are introduced, with the arpeggiated synth scattered through “Ice Cream Man” being a point of note as a subtle but interesting addition to the track, keeping things sounding a little different. However, I think this album is hindered by a hurried production and release, and this shows in the length and order of the album. An underwhelming but pleasant listen.

6 10

Favourite tracks // Lonesome Street
­                                  My Terracotta Heart
­                                    Ice Cream Man