THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

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Westway
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THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by Westway » 22 Apr 2015, 01:32

The 12 years since the release of Think Tank have been, as far as Blur fans are concerned, spent in almost certain belief that another Blur release will never happen and yet out of nowhere they announce a new album - The Magic Whip

It has been a long absence and the hype is naturally high, but we finally have the finished product, this is what they have produced...

Lonesome Street 7/10
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a high energy opener with references to pretty much every Blur era, it really nails the feeling of a triumphant return of a great band opening their first album in 12 years, catchy riffs, loud beats, thumping bassline and uplifting vocals, it's not their best opener by a long shot but it definitely does the job

New World Towers 5/10
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the song opens really awkwardly, the backing vocals do not match the lead vocals and the instrumentation is all over the place, this track scrapes a 5 because the melody is still nice but it seriously pales in comparison to the awesome live version

Go Out 3/10
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clumsy guitars, awful lyrics, boring song structure and worst of all are the horrible vocals, sounds like a drunk dad who can't remember the lyrics at the karaoke, tuneless and stumbling all over the place

the only saving grace is the "oh ah oh ah ah ah oh ah oh" hook (first heard around 17 seconds in) as well as the drum and bass

Ice Cream Man 6/10
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this one has a pretty nice rhythm and a cool atmosphere, I'm feeling the instrumental side on this one, nothing really amazing overall but it would have made for a really cool b-side

Thought I Was a Spaceman 4/10
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nothing interesting about this song, first half is Damon singing a boring tune, second half is Graham struggling to even hit the notes of the same boring tune from the first half of the song

the song does nothing and ends up going nowhere, the instrumental side saves this track from being a straight 0

I Broadcast 0/10
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clumsier than Go Out, the instrumentation is all over the place and the singing is awful, it just sounds like a rejected song from the Seymour era, it's one of the worst songs Blur has ever put out

My Terracotta Heart 1/10
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one of the most unoriginal Blur tunes ever, it's literally Hollow Ponds with new lyrics and the chorus from Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You slapped in between the verses

There Are Too Many of Us 7/10
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starts of slowly but picks up nicely, some really awesome atmospheric synths on this one, the vocals are on point and the song progression is really cool, the vocal melody can get a bit repetitive sometimes though, but it's a solid track overall

Ghost Ship 5/10
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nothing special but not bad, sounds like a Specials b-side, nothing much really left to be said about this song

Pyongyang 9/10
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this is more like it, moody verses, beautiful chorus, compelling lyrics, I love the atmosphere on this one, the only flaw is that the song probably doesn't quite hit the climax you'd expect from the way it opens but despite that, it's still an awesome tune, best song on the album

Ong Ong 7/10
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fun and catchy, the chorus is infectious and the verses are bouncy, it's not amazing but it's not trying to be, it achieves everything it intends to, it follows up Pyongyang really nicely and it builds up well to the album's closer

Mirrorball 7/10
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really nice melody on this one, it has the right atmosphere to close this album and I'm really feeling the strings as well, just an all round solid album closer, ends this album on a high

VERDICT

if Blur were to come back after 12 years absence, the new album would have to be on the same level as Parklife, Modern Life is Rubbish and 13, otherwise it wouldn't be worth it. Although The Magic Whip is not a bad album and does have some pretty great moments, there's just too much weak material on here. The Magic Whip is now what Leisure once was- the worst Blur album

5/10
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tom_cas1
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by tom_cas1 » 22 Apr 2015, 02:46

:shock: :lol:

Each to their own I suppose. I disagree though. Worst Blur album?? No no no. It's one of their best.
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aldamasta
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by aldamasta » 22 Apr 2015, 02:56

I honestly like hearing Westway's opinions. I agree some with a couple, but the rest are a bit harsh, don't you think?? Pyongyang is the only thing I only 100% agree with when you talk about it

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dunkaroo02
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by dunkaroo02 » 22 Apr 2015, 03:31

Look dude, you're entitled to your opinion. If you don't like the record, that's fine. But you're so relentlessly negative about everything, I question why you're even here. People come to this forum to talk about a band that brings them a lot of joy, there has to be a better way for you to spend your time than to constantly shit all over that.

elasticaman
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by elasticaman » 22 Apr 2015, 04:16

hardly heing negative , he gave some songs very high scores

i agree with some of his coments, and whilst my favourites and his favoutites may differ, the general thought , that its a hit and miss album is very true, and yes it is blurs weakest album

i cant imagine a 14 yr old kid being introduced to blur with this album, and becoming obsessed with them, which is very much what blur were capable of in the past

lonesome street- could have been a bside in 1997
i broadcast is an inferior "trouble in the message centre"
my terracotta heart is "apple carts"
the start of new world towers is also "apple carts" which ruins the song, despite those guitars that remind me of "So You
go out is just a rerecording of music is my radar

for a band that pushed fwd, this album is very much looking backwards - and because of it it fails, the quality just isnt there
its very dry and could have benefited from damon being willing to commit more time to it
and would have benefitted from a different producer too
blur played it safe

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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by Sean » 22 Apr 2015, 07:24

You cannot possibly be serious with the "clumsy guitars" comment about Go Out. :lol: :lol: :lol:

You think Graham had an off day when he was clumsy and ham fisted? LOL.
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Rubi
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by Rubi » 22 Apr 2015, 07:28

This topic should be renamed the "unhappy Blur fans" thread. :lol:

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Rubi
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by Rubi » 22 Apr 2015, 07:32

Sean wrote:You cannot possibly be serious with the "clumsy guitars" comment about Go Out. :lol: :lol: :lol:

You think Graham had an off day when he was clumsy and ham fisted? LOL.
I have blocked Westway's posts, but I thought I'd give his "review" a chance. I stopped reading after Go Out. This guy has no clue what he's talking about. Graham's guitars on that track are orgasmic. And looking at the ratings, this topic should be locked and hidden away in the depths of the forum.

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munch
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by munch » 22 Apr 2015, 07:47

Seems quite positive. But Go Out is amazing. As well as Spaceman
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by Jensen » 22 Apr 2015, 09:51

I honestly don't understand why it's something negative that some songs remind you of others. They are the same band after all ¿? Of course they'll tend to repeat sounds, structures, bits. It's their personal touch as artists. You don't see anyone bashing a Turner painting because it features another ship in it.

I love recognising some familiar things that made them sound like Blur. It was my biggest relief when they released Go Out. That they still sounded like them. Most of the songs you could relate with their discography, but at the same time they've taken risks (isn't it, the mere fact that they've released an album now,a huge risk after all?). If you don't like that a Blur song reminds you to another Blur song.... Well, then maybe you don't really like the band that much.
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sebastianZeal
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by sebastianZeal » 22 Apr 2015, 10:01

Oh come on, Stephen Street is a great producer, probably the best around and definitely the best for Blur. He did a great job.
Maybe you just don't get what Blur were/are actually about. That review is just bollocks.

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munch
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by munch » 22 Apr 2015, 10:15

I love how much Damon was complimenting Richard Russell during ER interviews and such. Richard definately has a cool something to give but he is nothing on Street
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by Sean » 22 Apr 2015, 10:21

I hated Richard Russell's production of Everyday Robots. So cold. Some of the songs are crap full stop but many of them sounded so much better and warmer live.
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Neal Zeal
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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by Neal Zeal » 22 Apr 2015, 10:28

Westway wrote:The 12 years since the release of Think Tank have been, as far as Blur fans are concerned, spent in almost certain belief that another Blur release will never happen and yet out of nowhere they announce a new album - The Magic Whip

It has been a long absence and the hype is naturally high, but we finally have the finished product, this is what they have produced...

Lonesome Street 7/10
--------------------------------------
a high energy opener with references to pretty much every Blur era, it really nails the feeling of a triumphant return of a great band opening their first album in 12 years, catchy riffs, loud beats, thumping bassline and uplifting vocals, it's not their best opener by a long shot but it definitely does the job

New World Towers 5/10
--------------------------------------
the song opens really awkwardly, the backing vocals do not match the lead vocals and the instrumentation is all over the place, this track scrapes a 5 because the melody is still nice but it seriously pales in comparison to the awesome live version

Go Out 3/10
--------------------------------------
clumsy guitars, awful lyrics, boring song structure and worst of all are the horrible vocals, sounds like a drunk dad who can't remember the lyrics at the karaoke, tuneless and stumbling all over the place

the only saving grace is the "oh ah oh ah ah ah oh ah oh" hook (first heard around 17 seconds in) as well as the drum and bass

Ice Cream Man 6/10
--------------------------------------
this one has a pretty nice rhythm and a cool atmosphere, I'm feeling the instrumental side on this one, nothing really amazing overall but it would have made for a really cool b-side

Thought I Was a Spaceman 4/10
--------------------------------------
nothing interesting about this song, first half is Damon singing a boring tune, second half is Graham struggling to even hit the notes of the same boring tune from the first half of the song

the song does nothing and ends up going nowhere, the instrumental side saves this track from being a straight 0

I Broadcast 0/10
--------------------------------------
clumsier than Go Out, the instrumentation is all over the place and the singing is awful, it just sounds like a rejected song from the Seymour era, it's one of the worst songs Blur has ever put out

My Terracotta Heart 1/10
---------------------------------------
one of the most unoriginal Blur tunes ever, it's literally Hollow Ponds with new lyrics and the chorus from Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You slapped in between the verses

There Are Too Many of Us 7/10
---------------------------------------
starts of slowly but picks up nicely, some really awesome atmospheric synths on this one, the vocals are on point and the song progression is really cool, the vocal melody can get a bit repetitive sometimes though, but it's a solid track overall

Ghost Ship 5/10
---------------------------------------
nothing special but not bad, sounds like a Specials b-side, nothing much really left to be said about this song

Pyongyang 9/10
---------------------------------------
this is more like it, moody verses, beautiful chorus, compelling lyrics, I love the atmosphere on this one, the only flaw is that the song probably doesn't quite hit the climax you'd expect from the way it opens but despite that, it's still an awesome tune, best song on the album

Ong Ong 7/10
---------------------------------------
fun and catchy, the chorus is infectious and the verses are bouncy, it's not amazing but it's not trying to be, it achieves everything it intends to, it follows up Pyongyang really nicely and it builds up well to the album's closer

Mirrorball 7/10
---------------------------------------
really nice melody on this one, it has the right atmosphere to close this album and I'm really feeling the strings as well, just an all round solid album closer, ends this album on a high

VERDICT

if Blur were to come back after 12 years absence, the new album would have to be on the same level as Parklife, Modern Life is Rubbish and 13, otherwise it wouldn't be worth it. Although The Magic Whip is not a bad album and does have some pretty great moments, there's just too much weak material on here. The Magic Whip is now what Leisure once was- the worst Blur album

5/10
Interesting review Mr Westway. I've only really heard Go Out and I must say I agree with you about the awful singing and lyrics. Have heard it about 3 times. The music may grow on me I guess but my first reaction was massive disappointment.
Your reviews of Lonesome Street and Mirrorball are very positive, and yet you only give them 7/10, so it sounds like you are deliberately marking those down or just use different marking scales to most people. You've also given 'Too Many of Us' a 7 but have criticised it quite a bit so that makes more sense.
As for Terracotta Heart getting a 1, I'm not really bothered about whether a song sounds original, just whether I enjoy listening to it.
Anyway, thanks for the review. I look forward to hearing all the songs properly on Monday!

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Re: THE DEFINITIVE MAGIC WHIP REVIEW

Post by 101reykjavik » 22 Apr 2015, 11:53

Sean wrote:I hated Richard Russell's production of Everyday Robots. So cold. Some of the songs are crap full stop but many of them sounded so much better and warmer live.
Production was disappointing, no two ways about it. Those songs came to life at the gigs I saw - night and day really. The record is an enjoyable listen, but you know it could have been so much better. TMW shows how it should be done in my opinion.
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