The Magic Whip



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


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


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