CD: Graham Coxon, Happiness in Magazines


Judging by his past four solo albums, the prospect of Graham Coxon abandoning his deliberately wilful, largely miserable, self-aware lo-fi doodlings seemed as likely as Damon Albarn being best man at Liam Gallagher's wedding. But times have changed, and Coxon is celebrating his emancipation from Britain's best-loved Britpop band by embracing everything Blur once held dear.

Never has getting the sack sounded so much fun. Perfect pop rubs up against blues, punky rants waltz with old-fashioned crooning. All Over Me has the disembodied feel of Bowie's Space Oddity, while Are You Ready is a lush homage to Ennio Morricone.

Hopeless Friends' refrain: "You used to think about magic and how to fit in, now you think about madness and how to stay thin," will give the gossips something to analyse. That Coxon has made a great lost Blur album will give Albarn much to think about.


Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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