The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

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The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by tom_cas1 » 13 Aug 2015, 19:27

It's very nearly been 4 months since The Magic Whip was released, so I thought I'd create this thread to compare our views from then to now.

Lonesome Street: A great song which was my favourite track of the three released songs before the album came out but it's fallen down the rankings a little now. Still great but I prefer other album tracks.
New World Towers: Although nice, this is my least favourite track on the album. Having heard the live version at MODE, the studio version doesn't do as much for me. I still like it but I'm now skipping it more than playing it.
Go Out: What can I say about this one? FANTASTIC track and a perfect set opener. I loved it when they dropped it on us and I love it even more now after hearing the boys open with it.
Ice Cream Man: Loved it back in April and I love it even more now. Criminal that the band haven't played it on tour because it's such a great live song. If anything my love for this song has only grown since April.
Thought I Was A Spaceman: Haven't played this as much lately because I think the live version really puts the album version in the shadow, no other way to say it. Still a great song but better live.
I Broadcast: I'm stunned when people say they don't like this track. I think it's great. Loved it when I heard the studio version for the first time and I love it more now. Just an excellent, fun song!
My Terracotta Heart: Just like New World Towers, I tend to skip this song more than I play it. It's a nice song but it's better live.
There Are Too Many Of Us: I've been torn on this song ever since it leaked at 2am the night before the MODE show. I like it but it's one of my least favourite songs on the album.
Ghost Ship: Just like Ice Cream Man, loved the song in April and I love it even more now. By far one of the highlights on the album, I mean what's not to like?
Pyongyang: Another album highlight here and another song that's even better live. My opinion on this hasn't changed at all, SUPERB!!
Ong Ong: I wasn't overly taken with it the first time I heard it but it's now one of my favourite tracks on the album. Maybe my #1 actually. Fun, catchy, brings back a lot of great memories from seeing Blur this year. A perfect song.
Mirrorball: A really nice album closer which reminds me a lot of This Is A Low, there's one part in particular where Graham's guitar is quite similar. Very cool live song.

Y'all Doomed: Haven't listened to this much since someone posted the mp3 on the forum but it's nice enough. I'm glad it was left on the album but it's nice to hear another side of Blur, almost like the 13 experimental side.

Basically...I still love it as much as I did when it came out. After the MODE show I came on here and said it could be their best album yet and I stand by that. But (and it's not really a complaint) many of the songs sound better live. I'm not sure that's because I first heard them in a live setting but it probably is. The guitars sound so much bigger live especially on Pyongyang, Spaceman and Mirrorball. I was disappointed that they're lower in the mix on the album but like I said, that's not really a complaint. I still love the album and have fantastic memories of this Magic Whip period.

There are a couple of songs that have gone down in my estimation, most notably New World Towers and My Terracotta Heart. Not sure why that is but I've gone off them a tad and just don't do as much for me as the other tracks. But wow what an album. I still pinch myself regularly, never in a million years would I have thought this time last year that a year on I'd have a new Blur album in my hands.

Overall I'd give the album an 8.5/10. I still think 13 is the best Blur album...but it's very VERY close. I wouldn't be surprised if the Magic Whip is at the top spot in a couple of years time when the songs have sunk in even more than they have already.
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by davidsutter » 13 Aug 2015, 19:35

I've been listening to some new things lately, I guess I'll pop TMW on and do another write-up...

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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by 101reykjavik » 13 Aug 2015, 19:44

I still really rate it too. Not changed my opinion greatly. I think 8.5/10 is broadly right. I'd call 13 a 9/10, and then I struggle to rank TMW, S/T and MLIR which to me are all 8.5/10 or so.

My favourites on the album haven't altered much either - Lonesome Street is classic, poppy Blur. It reminded me so much of mid-90s Blur upon first hearing it when it leaked on iTunes. I couldn't believe they'd made such a 'Blur' sounding song again. Such fun, as you say. Spaceman is epic, as are Pyongyang and Mirrorball - brilliant closer. In fact, I think Spaceman might be my pick for best track on the album actually. It was always Pyongyang, but it's on an even higher plain in a live setting. I know what you're saying Tom about Spaceman live, but I think they capture that one better on the album than they did with Pyongyang. But there is nothing weak on the album, that's what is so wonderful about it. They came together for five days basically and banged out 12 absolutely fantastic songs.

It just makes me smile that we all got to experience this once more, for some perhaps for the first time. And we shared it all here. :D A special time for us Blur fans.
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by JAIME » 13 Aug 2015, 21:37

I still rate TMW with an 8/10.

I've only changed my mind about the N° 1, because 4 months ago Lonesome Street was my fave track, but now it's Pyongyang (Lonesome St. is my 2nd fave track now).

Always skip TATMOU, TIWAS and ICM, not convinced too much about those ones yet.

I'd say that TMW is my 5th Blur album, over Leisure, TGE and TT.
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by elasticaman » 13 Aug 2015, 22:29

initially thought it was a 3/10
still think its a 3 or 4 /10

i have given it more listens and more growth time than i would afford a poor album by anyone else
but its still blurs worst album

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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by northernmonkey » 13 Aug 2015, 22:45

I love it as much now as I did at release , maybe more. Lonesome Street makes me smile so much, a cheeky sounding mid 90's Blur song but has so much happening with the cheeky uptempo verses, touching chorus and Graham's parts especially near the end, sits in my top 20 favourite Blur songs. I do like songs like NWT and MTH but sound a bit Damon solo although still a hint of Blur. Love Go Out, perfect opener for this tour, this and I Broadcast have been highlights when I've been to see them, I Broadcast is up there with Popscene and Advert for energy. Ice cream man should have been a single alongside Ong Ong as very catchy and would have been great to hear live, them ignoring it is like them ignoring Young and Lovely until 2012. TIWASM is epic, love the way it builds until the guitar outro magic and once again Graham's vocals add so much. TATMOU is a nice change in direction but has fallen in order of my favourite a lot since release, still a good song tho. Never tire of hearing Pyongyang or Mirrorball, perfect ballads but I would say Ghost Ship is a big highlight, such a feel good sound to it but unlike Blur we have heard before. For me TMW is as close to perfect as you could get, no fillers or average songs and I still have to pinch myself when hearing it in full.
Last edited by northernmonkey on 13 Aug 2015, 22:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Favourite TMW Studio Versions?

Post by TripleJay97 » 13 Aug 2015, 22:47

It's been four months already? Time for an update.

1. Pyongyang.
I tried my best not to put this at the top position because it's such an easy choice, but looking over the tracklisting over and over just reminded me that nothing stands up to this track. Its weight and majesty just makes every other song on the album seem so much smaller as if everything's been building up to this one moment and the last two tracks are the comedown. Does it compare to the live version? Honestly, I think it does! A lot of people have been putting the studio version down because it doesn't sounds as epic as it does live, which is understandable. The guitar in the intro is a lot more conservative for example. But I think that's what makes it work. The other elements of the track burst in unexpectedly and create something that builds. It's absolutely wonderful. 10/10

2. Ice Cream Man.
Wow, what a fun track! I remember not being too keen on the live version when I first heard it on Tom's Mode recording, I thought the twinkly ice cream truck melody was cheese at best. But the production on the album version saves it so much. What is essentially a bass/guitar battle of an interlude at 1:30 really makes this track fantastic. And the double tracked vocals on the chorus are SO DAMN CATCHY. Having heard this version of the track as much as I have, it's making me appreciate the original live version a lot more and making me crave more performances of the song. 9/10

3. Lonesome Street.
This has to be up there with their finest opening tracks, and that's really saying something. Listening to this always brings me back to the first time I heard the Parklife album, it's got a really fun nostalgic vibe to it. It makes me want to run round the streets, singing along. I also jam this song with my band whenever we practice, so it's always going to have that significance to me as well. 9/10

4. Ghost Ship.
This song really took me by surprise when I first heard it, even more so than Blur normally do when they release albums the fuck out of nowhere (yes, more of that please. Thank you). I never thought the same band who made 13 could ever go back to making something this commercial sounding. Not that it's a bad thing, not at all. I feel like if it were released as a single, it would have made waves, like the titular ship itself. It's got some really pretty moments too, like those little bursts of sax or that weird electronic solo at the end. 9/10

5. Go Out.
The first song we heard from the album, released almost six months ago. It attracted some disdain in that it wasn't really commercial sounding at all, it was very grimey, underground, contained a few noise rock elements. I didn't really pay as much attention to the track back then as I did the announcement that there was new Blur. But ever since then, it's gotten better every listen, with that backing vocal hook hacking itself firmly into my brain to remain for hours after I hear it. A great example of a grower. 8/10

6. There Are Too Many of Us.
Now, I really didn't like this track at first. It reminded me of Kate Bush in a bad way and I skipped it a lot in favour of the other two more upbeat singles. But as soon as I tried going on a walk with that song playing, I got hooked. It's a great marching song, and it makes you feel epic, storming through crowds of people à la Richard Ashcroft. Only prettier. 8/10

7. Mirrorball.
This one would rank higher, if my general preference didn't normally cater towards more upbeat songs. This is a beautiful song, and it marvels even in its simplicity. The lyrics are deep to the point of my own confusion. "Before you logout"? Is this about the Blur forum? That would be incredibly meta. Oh well. It's a really pretty song and a great closing track. 8/10

8. Thought I Was A Spaceman.
This is one of the tracks I loved right from Mode. I thought it was fantastic, I loved Graham stepping up to the mic, I thought the lyrics were outstanding. And I still do! But honestly, I think I have to be in the right mood to listen to it now. If I'm in a really good mood, I'll sometimes skip it. It's like the majority of 13, I have to be feeling pretty sombre to fully appreciate it. 7/10

9. My Terracotta Heart.
I didn't really get this one right away. Live, it just sounded like something from Everyday Robots. But hearing that studio version for the first time was a whole different beast. The bass lines in the chorus wrapped themselves tightly around the guitar like chocolate on a Twix bar. It's another one of those "gotta be in the mood" tunes though. 7/10

10. Ong Ong.
Okay, It's catchy. I understand that. It's a pretty little tune. But I can't stand hearing it live. The "lalala"s just sound off. I didn't like it at Mode, I don't really like it now. I do understand the appeal for the studio version though, it's a great singalong. Me and my friends sing "I wanna be with you" every time we hear it, so it's created some memories. Credit where credit's due. 7/10

11. New World Towers.
I do understand why some people are having trouble getting into this one. It sounds like it doesn't have much to offer, the chorus isn't particularly memorable, the lyrics are slightly grating at times and the live version is SO MUCH BETTER. However, I really can't get enough of that fruity latin vibe and that guitar at the end is just lovely. 6/10

12. I Broadcast.
Okay, so here's where Streety really fucked it up for me. Live, this song sounded so raw and energetic, with great balance between the instruments. On the studio version, this idea is scrapped and the fantastic bass is overshadowed by a few distracting synths. I often go back to the Mode recording and listen to that in place of the studio version. It's not terrible. It's just kind of offensive to me to hear something so good go to waste! 5/10
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by TripleJay97 » 13 Aug 2015, 22:48

I'd give it a 9/10. I just posted a massive track review thingy in the other thread.
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by Lt Pinkerton » 14 Aug 2015, 00:00

Tier 1: 13
Tier 2: TMW, Parklife, MLIR, Blur, Think Tank. Ranking depends on the kind of mood I'm on.
Tier 3: The Great Escape, Leisure

I just wish some studio recordings had captured the true feeling of a few songs, namely New World Towers, I Broadcast (although this one is just not very good) and Ong Ong, which sort of sounds like a GarageBand demo.

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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by tom_cas1 » 14 Aug 2015, 00:12

elasticaman wrote:initially thought it was a 3/10
still think its a 3 or 4 /10

i have given it more listens and more growth time than i would afford a poor album by anyone else
but its still blurs worst album
3 or 4 out of 10?!?
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by elasticaman » 14 Aug 2015, 00:37

Yes

Considering the best song (Pyongyang) is a 7, and the rest is all 3rd rate filler yes

For anyone to class this alongside self titled, think tank and 13 is beyond me.

It is not an album I will play regularly.If it wasn't for the blur name I wouldn't own it

Considering other albums that have been released this year it's way way down the list, and 2015 has been a fucking awful year in music

Thank god for sufjan Stevens


Call it a 9 if that's how u feel about it
And I'll call it as I see it too

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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by Forever Low Man » 14 Aug 2015, 00:46

Tier 1: 13, this, Leisure b-sides
Tier 2: most of the other b-sides, s/t, Parklife, Leisure, Think Tank, MLIR
Tier 3: TGE
Tier 4: the rest of the b-sides
Tier 5: "Kissin' Time"
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by tom_cas1 » 14 Aug 2015, 03:47

elasticaman wrote:Yes

Considering the best song (Pyongyang) is a 7, and the rest is all 3rd rate filler yes

For anyone to class this alongside self titled, think tank and 13 is beyond me.

It is not an album I will play regularly.If it wasn't for the blur name I wouldn't own it

Considering other albums that have been released this year it's way way down the list, and 2015 has been a fucking awful year in music

Thank god for sufjan Stevens


Call it a 9 if that's how u feel about it
And I'll call it as I see it too
I genuinely don't understand how anyone can rate The Magic Whip 3 out of 10. 3rd rate filler tracks? Nah.
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by metalhipslop » 14 Aug 2015, 05:56

magic whip contains some of the best stuff damon has written in a long time (well, since plastic beach :) ) like Pyongyang, mirrorball, there are too many of uss and lonesome street. really, the whole album is the best stuff . i love the magic whip 4 months on
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Re: The Magic Whip: 4 Months On

Post by TripleJay97 » 14 Aug 2015, 07:29

Tier 1: TMW, 13, MLIR
Tier 2: Blur, Parklife, TGE
Tier 3: Leisure, Think Tank
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