If Graham Coxon's last album, 2009's The Spinning Top, suggested that Blur's 43-year-old guitarist was ready to renounce rock and embrace middle age, its boisterous follow-up reaffirms his status as the oldest teenager in town. Gone are the ruminations on mortality and the elaborate, folky finger-picking; instead, as the boyish song titles indicate ("Ooh, Yeh Yeh", "Bah Singer", "Meet and Drink and Pollinate"), Coxon combines the spirit of early Blur with a hint of Joy Division and the pithiness of punk. Sophisticated it's not but, by and large, it's thrilling, the guitarist's zest for life evident throughout.
Graham Coxon: A+E – review
Paul Mardles is a subeditor on the Observer New Review