Damon's vocals: a revelation

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dparrott
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Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by dparrott » 24 Jan 2020, 23:22

Graham revealing that the vocals for Song 2 were a guide vocal is a revelation. It totally explains the change in vocals from 1999-2003. They went from smart well-written lyrics and sharp vocals to a lot of half spoken partly incomprehensible words. Examples: Swamp Song, Battle, Music Is My Radar, The Outsider, Gene By Gene, Money Makes Me Crazy, and even some Gorillaz songs. I find it hard to believe those lyrics were "written". Radar was seriously just a jam session that sounded good. It was going to be the b-side! In contrast, the lyrics to songs like Sweet Song and Black Book are warm, clear and heartfelt. THAT'S the Blur of old. If Damon could make a hit song with just lyrics off the top of his head, he milked it for all it's worth. I'm glad it stopped with Magic Whip.

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munch
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by munch » 25 Jan 2020, 07:44

Radar is one of the most gibberish songs ever written

best recent example of this is SLEEPING POWDER
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzJGWAfmBco

That's why Damon only sung a chorus really when performing live


This one is questionable
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36DCuT1KxM4
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vitekm
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by vitekm » 25 Jan 2020, 13:21

munch wrote:
25 Jan 2020, 07:44
Radar is one of the most gibberish songs ever written

best recent example of this is SLEEPING POWDER
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzJGWAfmBco

That's why Damon only sung a chorus really when performing live


This one is questionable
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36DCuT1KxM4
Radar is one of the best songs ever written (or "written") by Blur. Kubrickian music video is superb as well. As single it was released only one month prior Tomorrow Comes Today EP, which ment at the time, at least for me, that Blur and (new coming) Gorillaz melted perfectly, Gorillaz arrival was no surprise for me. I only thought at the time that there would be more Blur material after / besides Gorillaz.

dparrott
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by dparrott » 25 Jan 2020, 21:19

Notice these types of songs mostly happened without Street, and stopped when he came back on. He wouldn't put up with this nonsense.

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stephen
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by stephen » 28 Jan 2020, 11:20

dparrott wrote:
25 Jan 2020, 21:19
Notice these types of songs mostly happened without Street, and stopped when he came back on. He wouldn't put up with this nonsense.
He used vocal guides on the self titled album, you mentioned it on your original post

jonathas
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by jonathas » 28 Jan 2020, 14:02

Small contribution to say I'm all in favour of Damon's vocal guides and mumbled contributions post-Blur. They opened up a whole new aspect of his songwriting and Blur's sound - he began using his voice as an instrument, and things got both looser and more harmonically interesting (a lot of the time) when he did.

If I was going to suggest a seachange in the way he wrote songs I would say (as Graham has) that the real change is when he switched from writing on a piano to writing on a guitar. That did, I think, mean a lot of stuff he came up with became predictable - those 4 string barre chords.

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stephen
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by stephen » 28 Jan 2020, 15:31

I agree I think the vocal guides offer a more creative / less rigid approach. I can't think of how tracks like Song 2 and Music is my radar would have worked without it, we wouldn't have had those tracks.

OilyWaters
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by OilyWaters » 02 Mar 2020, 12:58

I said this to Caitlin nearly a year ago with regards to MerrieLand:

"I remember when the Merrie Land track was released, (on Jools Holland I think) I did think “what on earth is this” I found the lyrical structure very odd.

But in the context of the rest of the album, I think it’s one of the best albums Damon has ever done. I’ve been working my way through the blur albums again and when I listen to Think Tank in particular, I find the lyrics so muddled, distorted and generally a bit uninspired. Merrie Land definitely has lyrics front and centre throughout the album and it takes a few listens for it to work its magic!"

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stephen
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by stephen » 02 Mar 2020, 16:07

Like most things I think it just boils down to personal preferences.

Good Song, Out of Time, Ambulance, Sweet Song, Battery in your leg, OTWTTC all very strong songs lyrically for me, but others will disagree and prefer different songs. I guess it just goes to show the range in the lyrics over the years

northernmonkey
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by northernmonkey » 02 Mar 2020, 17:07

stephen wrote:
02 Mar 2020, 16:07
Like most things I think it just boils down to personal preferences.

Good Song, Out of Time, Ambulance, Sweet Song, Battery in your leg, OTWTTC all very strong songs lyrically for me, but others will disagree and prefer different songs. I guess it just goes to show the range in the lyrics over the years
I agree with the songs off Think Tank, a very strong list both lyrically and song structure, but unfortunately there are a few misses on the album which brings this down for me as an album. I loved it when it first came out, then when I thought it was Blur's last album in time I couldn't really listen to it, but now I do rate it highly again.

I think Damon's vocals have actually improved with his time away from Blur, it is hard to believe what a range he has, TMW, TGTBATQ, Gorillaz projects all bring something very different from him vocally and just when you think you have heard the best he has, you have something like Desole released.

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MsMagicAmerica
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Re: Damon's vocals: a revelation

Post by MsMagicAmerica » 07 Mar 2020, 17:12

I don't mind it to an extent. I love Radar and a few other songs mentioned above where he just kinda mumbles and sings whatever comes out of his mouth.
I don't like it when/if he does it out of laziness. The end result sometimes comes out as if he couldn't be bothered to write anything.
It's tricky to know which song falls into the creative category and which falls into the lazy category.

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