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Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 22 Jul 2016, 23:48
by northernmonkey
Pyongyang is one of the moodiest yet most beautiful songs they have done, very much up their with something like TIAL although in my opinion this will never be bettered. Mirror Ball is a nice song but I do find myself comparing this to Pyongyang and think this wasn't the best choice of album closers as Pyongyang would have been the better choice.

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 23 Jul 2016, 00:04
by tom_cas1
For me Mirrorball is a better live song as the guitars stand out more than they do on the album.

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 24 Jul 2016, 08:51
by zoozilla
I like Magic Whip, but don't love it. I think some parts of it betray the fact that it's compiled from studio jam sessions. 13 of course was made from jams too, but I think on that album the messiness of jamming was part of the aesthetic of the album.

It's little things that bug me - I think some of the vocal mixing is weird, like the backing vocals on "New World Towers" or the way Graham's vocals are overlaid onto Damon's in "Pyongyang." I also wish Graham's guitar freakout at the end of "Spaceman" really exploded - as is, it seems to build up to a climax that isn't quite as big as I'd like for a 6-minute song.

I guess I just wish the band had spent a little more time re-recording parts and really refining the structure of each song. I feel like a little more polishing would have gone a long way. That said, I can understand that the whole process of the album was so spur-of-the-moment that getting the whole band together for intensive re-recording sessions would have killed momentum.

So yeah, TMW is not my favorite Blur album, but I'd rather it exist than not.

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 24 Jul 2016, 20:24
by northernmonkey
Apart from loving the album, I guess I wanted a new positive Blur chapter and to find out if after all these years apart they could still come up with a collection of songs that would still excite with the mix of talent each member brings when they are Blur. In this for me at least they succeeded and gave me the answer that after some time and many listens of the other 3 post re-union songs, I never had previously. After over a year with the new album it is in my top 4, not at number 1 but somewhere in the top 4.

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 25 Jul 2016, 09:15
by MsMagicAmerica
I used to really like I Broadcast but it has since grown on me. On the slip side, I used to hate Ghost Ship & now I love it.

I Broadcast is the only song that I'm not crazy about of the album. I still love the album.

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 26 Jul 2016, 08:18
by Daysleeper
Interesting topic.

When the album came out the reviews across the board were positive; however they were not gushing. They were all 4 out of 5 reviews and 8 out of 10. Looking back now I think for once the critics got it right. I think it is a good album but it has got weaknesses which maybe affect the enjoyment for some more than others.

I really like the album, I think it is a strong collection of songs bar I broadcast.

Go Out, Spaceman, TATMOU and Ghost ship probably being my favourites.

Why is it not up there with 13? For me it has to be the production and lack of atmosphere. As others have mentioned the way the band recorded the album has something to do with this. However as much I think Steven Street is a great producer, I don't think he got it 100%. The production of Spaceman limits the levels the song reaches and what could have been done particularly with Graham's guitars was emphasised with the live performances. The same goes for Pyongyang, I think this song suffers more from poor production although it is still a good song.

Overall though I am delighted to have the album and really enjoy it, I still listen to it regularly and when I have break from it and come back to it, it sounds quite fresh again! Definitely a worthwhile addition to the Blur back catalogue.

I might as well join in the ranking list too! :D

1. 13
2. Modern Life is Rubbish
3. The Magic Whip
4. Blur
5. The Great Escape
6. Parklife
7. Leisure
8. Think Tank

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 26 Jul 2016, 12:17
by dougharrison
Still love the album a lot, so much so the premise of this thread feels very weird to me, I mean each to their own and all, but I can't really identify with anyone who doesn't rate say Pyongyang & Spaceman amongst the very best things they have ever done. Think Ong Ong is the only weak track for me. Can relate slightly to the criticism on production, I often skip NWT, just because the things I find beautiful in there are really really low in the mix. Can live without the weird bloops on Ice Cream Man too, but even with an ultra-critical take I really can't find anything else to fault there. A superb album for me. Would probably make my top 10 since the turn of the century, although that perhaps speaks volumes about how defunct the concept of an album is these days...

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 26 Jul 2016, 15:50
by davidsutter
That one lyric is obviously 'seven on the left hand side' live and that's really good but definitely not what the record says.
It may be one of those things where not even Damon knows what he said, some old Gorillaz lyrics are like that..

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 27 Jul 2016, 04:59
by Mallard No. 22
tom_cas1 wrote:I mean I understand if people don't like it COMPARED to previous albums, but saying it's awful with "highs nowhere to be found" is a downright ridiculous.
It is not an 'awful' album. It rolls along quite nicely. It could be that as a long term listener I don't get excited about new albums in the way that I did with e.g. 'Parklife'.

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 27 Jul 2016, 13:43
by rich
davidsutter wrote:That one lyric is obviously 'seven on the left hand side' live and that's really good but definitely not what the record says.
It may be one of those things where not even Damon knows what he said, some old Gorillaz lyrics are like that..
sounds like 'squirming on the left hand side' to me on the record'... :?

but it's 'seven on the left hand side' in the lyric sheet (Japanese edition), and as performed live... :|

so yeah I've got no idea what that's about, other than the idea links up with a couple of songs on Everyday Robots - Damon's seven thing, Notting Hill tower blocks etc...

anyway, doesn't matter, I've always liked this song :)

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 28 Jul 2016, 21:35
by Moritz
I witnessed the peak of the Blur era in the mid 90s unaware. So it was great for me to hear "The Magic Whip" as new material. I know that you can't compare songs like "Lonesome Street" or "I Broadcast" with "real oldschool" masterpeaces like "Parklife". You can't compare material a band made 20 years ago in a different situation. It's another energy and (even it sounds dreadfull) another spirit in TMW, but that's OK. It sound's like Blur. Pulp, The Stone Roses or Suede (All good or even great bands in their way) came back and played gigantic shows and became part of the big Rock'N'Pop-reunion circus. But their new records are not even good, a bit retro mixed with follow-the-roots sounds. In the case of Blur, you know that they are still themselfes. I don't think that cash or big record deals made TMW or their "reunion" in common. This spontaneity and slackness is audible in the tunes of the album. For me, it's a special Blur record. Even good, but I think no one ever expected an new "Modern Life Is Rubbish" when they made their announcement.

Last but not least:

Blur
Modern Life Is Rubbish
Parklife
TMW
Leisure
The Great Escape
Think Tank

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 31 Jul 2016, 10:27
by ricj
It's the only Blur album I listen to all the time (i've quite literally listened to all the others to death and now need a good 5+ years away from them).

The only songs i've been known to skip (only when listening in the car for some reason) are I Broadcast and every now and again, Spaceman. Not sure why that is...

For me the album is almost perfect though.

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 31 Jul 2016, 20:11
by northernmonkey
Not sure why I Broadcast gets such a bashing as I think it's a great addition to the the likes of say Song 2, Popscene, Advert etc and rate it higher than say BLUREMI off 13. Yes, the live version is way better and heavier, and the studio version feels a little over produced a bit like for me some of the tracks off TGE, but a fun song all the same. It certainly is no Crazy Beat :D

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 01 Aug 2016, 13:00
by 101reykjavik
I agree. I loved I Broadcast when I first heard it when it appeared temporarily that evening last year and still enjoy it now. Like you say, it fits into that Advert, Popscene tradition. Especially live, it's loads of fun. But then I like The Puritan, so what do I know? I must have a sweet tooth for bubblegum...

Re: A thread for those disappointed by The Magic Whip

Posted: 01 Aug 2016, 14:56
by davidsutter
Globe Alone is the best fast one to me, Dave kills that 16-beat.