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Last modified 11.03.02018

The Magic Whip Blur

Album review by André Dack, Frederick O'Brien, and Andrew Bridge


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 out of 10

Favourite tracks // Mirrorball ­Ghost Ship ­My Terracotta Heart


The Magic Whip is 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 material.

6 out of 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. The arpeggiated synth scattered through “Ice Cream Man” is a point of note, 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 out of 10

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