The Good, The Bad and the Queen — The Good, The Bad and the Queen (2007)

Good art can’t be assembled from exemplary pieces like a fantasy baseball team. The Good, The Bad, & The Queen, the first album from the band formed by Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, falls prey to the usual supergroup problem: it sounds too good, too slick and too professional to be very interesting. Produced by Danger Mouse, and featuring Paul Simonon of the Clash, Simon Tong of the Verve, and Tony Allen from Fela Kuti’s backing band (Afrika 70), the album is lushly arranged but ultimately uninspiring. The lyrics, intended to be a portrayal of modern life in London, are somewhat evocative but rather vague and obscure; they’re far more interesting as poems in the album liner than paired with the music.

The album does have a few high points: “Nature Springs” shows the band melding their diverse styles with much more success than the rest of the album, and hints at promising results if this group can ever move past being a project and meld into a band. This album, however, is still fairly immature.

all music

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