Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Discussion about the band and related projects.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by Veikko » 25 Nov 2021, 17:10

It seems that the cassette has the hidden track too!
https://www.discogs.com/release/2092767 ... ream-Flows (scroll to the Reviews section)

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by thespider » 28 Nov 2021, 22:42

This has fallen to number 94 in week two. I didn't think it would stay in the top 40 for long but that's a pretty hefty drop.
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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by Ian_D » 29 Nov 2021, 10:30

I'm surprised many things stay in the charts at all these days - everything is so heavily promoted as a pre-order that you would think most people who are interested would have bought it as a pre-order and so there's no-one really left for week two. Especially for an album like this which is not going to have a single on repeat play on popular radio, there was a pretty decent promotional push but it was probably mainly aimed at making sure that anyone who had a passing interest in Damon's music definitely bought it (eg the chances to get his signature / fingerprint on the album) rather than it being an easy sell to the wider market.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by idreamofpikas » 29 Nov 2021, 17:52

Disappointing but also to be expected considering the amount of new releases, the time of the year and the Knebworth album that just dropped that has seen a host of Oasis albums in the top 100. Surprisingly, it fared better in France were it debuted at 15 and dropped to 61 in its second week. It did not make the US Billboard chart but was the 97th best selling album the week it was released.

But it's done better than 2018's Merrie Land. Which peaked at 31 in the UK, and has outperformed it in most other countries charts.

Jarvis, Ashcroft and the Manics have all had albums released in the last two months and its already doing better than all of them on Spotify and Youtube. So while its poor by Gorillaz numbers, or even Gallagher brothers/Blur numbers on streaming sites it is still doing numbers that are seemingly profitable for other artists of Damon's era.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by Neal Zeal » 30 Nov 2021, 22:44

thespider wrote:
28 Nov 2021, 22:42
This has fallen to number 94 in week two. I didn't think it would stay in the top 40 for long but that's a pretty hefty drop.
Yes, it's surprising how little influence the 6 music A-list has on sales, as Royal Morning Blue's been on there for weeks.
Had he written something melodically strong enough for Radio 2 playlist, I'm pretty certain the album would have done a lot better.
I really wish there was some way of getting compositional quality-control back into Damon's work.
He can still write brilliant music but it's just surrounded by way too much filler.
Fingers crossed he's seriously upped his game for the rumoured 2022 Blur album.
Last edited by Neal Zeal on 01 Dec 2021, 08:54, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by rich » 30 Nov 2021, 22:57

Neal Zeal wrote:
30 Nov 2021, 22:44
Finger's crossed he's seriously upped his game for the rumoured 20220 Blur album.
not sure I can wait 18,199 years for the next blur album though...
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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by Neal Zeal » 30 Nov 2021, 23:39

rich wrote:
30 Nov 2021, 22:57
Neal Zeal wrote:
30 Nov 2021, 22:44
Finger's crossed he's seriously upped his game for the rumoured 20220 Blur album.
not sure I can wait 18,199 years for the next blur album though...
Good point - I should never have believed that rumour in the first place!

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by jonathas » 01 Dec 2021, 09:44

I think it's worth remembering that this LP started as a fairly esoteric 'playing the landscape' art project, and if it hadn't been for the lockdown it might not even have seen a conventional release. The criticism of Damon heading off into atmospheric, light on melody music would be perfectly valid if he had been trying to write a pop record, but he wasn't - or at least, that's not the origin of the project. It's like saying that Dr Dee was light on bangers.

There's a lingering obsession with Damon being a pop star and selling a shedload of records. If you read his interviews or listen to him talking on the radio, that really doesn't crop up as one of his interests any more. In his recent chat with Zane Lowe he even went as far as to say that he no longer thinks of Gorillaz as a mainstream or commercial concern.

This record, it seems to me, sits in in a musical world populated by Robert Wyatt, Talk Talk, Sigur Ros. So guess what? No hits. Lovely.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by dougharrison » 01 Dec 2021, 10:59

jonathas wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 09:44
There's a lingering obsession with Damon being a pop star and selling a shedload of records. If you read his interviews or listen to him talking on the radio, that really doesn't crop up as one of his interests any more. In his recent chat with Zane Lowe he even went as far as to say that he no longer thinks of Gorillaz as a mainstream or commercial concern.
I don't have a problem with Damon not selling records and doing what he wants to do instead, but even if he doesn't see Gorillaz as a mainstream commercial concern, they aren't playing an old gig in cinema screens as an artistic project and they aren't repackaging a 20 year old album as a deluxe 8lp to display 5 demos because it's all about the music.

For me it ranks pretty close to talking about how great it is not to have commercials during the Olympics whilst standing under Cadburys banners as a sign of integrity. Remember anti-capitalism sells to the under 40s...

Just to add I don't object to artists being paid for their work, or selling their music for commercials etc, it's the hypocrisy I struggle with and while Damon may say he does not care about Gorillaz being a commercial success, it's paying (directly and indirectly) for his less commercial endeavours, which is no bad thing.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by John_d » 01 Dec 2021, 11:29

dougharrison wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 10:59
jonathas wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 09:44
There's a lingering obsession with Damon being a pop star and selling a shedload of records. If you read his interviews or listen to him talking on the radio, that really doesn't crop up as one of his interests any more. In his recent chat with Zane Lowe he even went as far as to say that he no longer thinks of Gorillaz as a mainstream or commercial concern.
I don't have a problem with Damon not selling records and doing what he wants to do instead, but even if he doesn't see Gorillaz as a mainstream commercial concern, they aren't playing an old gig in cinema screens as an artistic project and they aren't repackaging a 20 year old album as a deluxe 8lp to display 5 demos because it's all about the music.

For me it ranks pretty close to talking about how great it is not to have commercials during the Olympics whilst standing under Cadburys banners as a sign of integrity. Remember anti-capitalism sells to the under 40s...

Just to add I don't object to artists being paid for their work, or selling their music for commercials etc, it's the hypocrisy I struggle with and while Damon may say he does not care about Gorillaz being a commercial success, it's paying (directly and indirectly) for his less commercial endeavours, which is no bad thing.
The impression I get is that the Gorillaz self-titled LP re-release is somewhat lacklustre (I am no box set or re-release expert but I always enjoy watching Bowie, U2 or Beatles experts poring over the box sets and debating the various merits). The Gorillaz release being not great is very odd as you would think Gorillaz would be better placed than most bands to present something fantastic - in terms of visuals and also live recordings and demos - and charge quite a high price for it. Back in 2001ish my University friend would borrow the CD singles to get all the extra content off them. There was nothing quite like the Celebrity Takedown DVD either.

I would assume TNTFMPTSF (!) has paid its own way. There's been admirable promotion. Going by Damon's comments on Mark Ronson's podcast, I think he still hope to make a wider "pop" impact with Gorillaz. He mentioned that there are songs which you hope will become popular. He referred to ones that have taken their time - other users here have speculated about which songs he means, but I'm fairly sure he at least means (at least) On Melancholy Hill. They also can't expect to stay a headline festival act if there aren't any songs making a wider splash...I don't think there's many other touring acts that have 10+ songs on Spotify with over 100m plays though.

But yes I suppose Gorillaz underwrites things like Africa Express - I don't know the finances of that but I assume Damon at least partly subsidises it.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by idreamofpikas » 01 Dec 2021, 14:22

dougharrison wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 10:59
jonathas wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 09:44
There's a lingering obsession with Damon being a pop star and selling a shedload of records. If you read his interviews or listen to him talking on the radio, that really doesn't crop up as one of his interests any more. In his recent chat with Zane Lowe he even went as far as to say that he no longer thinks of Gorillaz as a mainstream or commercial concern.
I don't have a problem with Damon not selling records and doing what he wants to do instead, but even if he doesn't see Gorillaz as a mainstream commercial concern, they aren't playing an old gig in cinema screens as an artistic project and they aren't repackaging a 20 year old album as a deluxe 8lp to display 5 demos because it's all about the music.

For me it ranks pretty close to talking about how great it is not to have commercials during the Olympics whilst standing under Cadburys banners as a sign of integrity. Remember anti-capitalism sells to the under 40s...

Just to add I don't object to artists being paid for their work, or selling their music for commercials etc, it's the hypocrisy I struggle with and while Damon may say he does not care about Gorillaz being a commercial success, it's paying (directly and indirectly) for his less commercial endeavours, which is no bad thing.
When he talks about Gorillaz not being mainstream he's not talking about it being his choice, he's referring to the fact that they don't feature in the singles charts anymore. That they were a mainstream act in the 00's but are not now.

He's obviously downplaying Gorillaz appeal, but he's under no illusion that Gorillaz are competing with the same tier of acts they were doing so in the 00's. And from his perspective its probably nicer thinking about Gorillaz as a really successful alternative act rather than a mediocre mainstream act.

It is a pretty mature attitude to have. U2 and seemingly Coldplay are two mainstream acts who seem to be losing a lot of prestige because of trying to cling onto being mainstream.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by dougharrison » 01 Dec 2021, 14:46

idreamofpikas wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 14:22
When he talks about Gorillaz not being mainstream he's not talking about it being his choice, he's referring to the fact that they don't feature in the singles charts anymore. That they were a mainstream act in the 00's but are not now.

He's obviously downplaying Gorillaz appeal, but he's under no illusion that Gorillaz are competing with the same tier of acts they were doing so in the 00's. And from his perspective its probably nicer thinking about Gorillaz as a really successful alternative act rather than a mediocre mainstream act.

It is a pretty mature attitude to have. U2 and seemingly Coldplay are two mainstream acts who seem to be losing a lot of prestige because of trying to cling onto being mainstream.
Ahh my bad, I didn't catch the interview and as such perhaps took it out of context.

The last paragraph wouldn't bode well for a new Blur album...

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by idreamofpikas » 01 Dec 2021, 15:54

dougharrison wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 14:46
idreamofpikas wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 14:22
When he talks about Gorillaz not being mainstream he's not talking about it being his choice, he's referring to the fact that they don't feature in the singles charts anymore. That they were a mainstream act in the 00's but are not now.

He's obviously downplaying Gorillaz appeal, but he's under no illusion that Gorillaz are competing with the same tier of acts they were doing so in the 00's. And from his perspective its probably nicer thinking about Gorillaz as a really successful alternative act rather than a mediocre mainstream act.

It is a pretty mature attitude to have. U2 and seemingly Coldplay are two mainstream acts who seem to be losing a lot of prestige because of trying to cling onto being mainstream.
Ahh my bad, I didn't catch the interview and as such perhaps took it out of context.

The last paragraph wouldn't bode well for a new Blur album...
To clarify I'm talking more about Coldplay making a single with BTS, Max Martin and his pop team producing their last two albums. There seems to be a desperation to stay relevant, similar to U2 having Danger Mouse and Ryan Tedder produce Songs of Innocence and then making the Itunes deal were everyone was forced to have the album.

An artist, especially when they are getting long in the tooth, can be overexposed. U2 went from being all time great to a figure of fun in a decade and Coldplay seem to be following that trajectory. The Paul McCartney/Phil Collins route were people just get sick of them regardless of the quality of their music.

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by bugman » 02 Dec 2021, 23:45

damon today played MTH and UTW. he always surprises us!

full setlist
https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/damon-al ... b97a5.html

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Re: Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Post by rich » 03 Dec 2021, 00:48

Wow - my terracotta heart - solidarity with Graham?
I put me trousers on, have a cup of tea, and think about leaving the house...
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