Top 5 Damon Albarn Projects That Are Actually Better Than Blur

Top 5 Damon Albarn Projects That Are Actually Better Than Blur

We're sure to be divisive in throwing this down but it looks like Australia had a relatively easy time parting with Blur when all the festival shit churned last year. Looking back, maybe we dealt with the cancellation saga so well because Blur's time has passed or maybe because they never had a whole lot of pull here to begin with. Whatever the case, surely the worst part about not seeing Blur is not seeing Damon Albarn. He has done a lot of work over the last decade more important than Blur is now and the better part of it is still commercially underground. Now we mean to take a look at these ventures in the hope that Blur look the slightest bit daft by the time we’re through.

5. The Good, the Bad and the Queen

This musical venture is difficult to adequately sell so it is best heard. The Good, the Bad and the Queen comes in the form of an LP helmed by Albarn and Paul Simonon (The Clash) alongside Tony Allen and Simon Tong. Musically it’s an explorative effort but carries Albarn’s digestible pop branding and Danger Mouse’s bold production bones. Just listen to it and you’ll hear it all there.

4. Kinshasa One Two

Damon put this record together in 2011 during a stay in Kinshasa, Congo. He enlisted the help of 10 DRC Music Group producers including Dan the Automator and Marc Antoine to nut everything out, with the finished product aimed at helping Oxfam’s work in the country. Again, nailing a singular tone or feel within this sample-based collection work is damn tough but it sure is unique.

3. Gorillaz

Bit obvious, yes, but this virtual band seems to be Albarn’s shining opus. Gorillaz’ three albums have produced a string of hits, a few cartoon specials, and the brainiest electro-pop-rock still accessible enough to reach commercial radio. If you missed Demon Days, get onto it.

2. Democrazy

Democrazy is basically a collection of singles written and recorded by Albarn during the US leg of Blur’s Think Tank tour. ‘I Miss You’ and ‘Five Star Life’ are particularly good but the album itself has a humble, purposely limited sound that warms a little bit.

1. Mali Music

Released in 2002, this African music offering was written with the help of Malian musicians Afel Bocoum and Toumani Diabate. To be frank and quite tactless, it’s bloody awesome.

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