Damon Albarn
Everyday Robots


2.5
average

Review

by Jordan CONTRIBUTOR (46 Reviews)
April 28th, 2014 | 55 replies | 4,719 views


Release Date: 04/29/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whatever makes you happy on a Saturday Night

Boasting a press release claiming that Everyday Robots will be an amalgamation of "dub oriented elements... dazed electronic ambience... and percussive textures", you'd be forgiven for thinking that Albarn had gone and created something as exciting as Modern Life is Rubbish, contextually adapted to 2014. You'd also be forgiven for thinking that their might be something bonkers and out of the box when it comes to Albarn's first solo effort since the deplorable operatic soundtrack Dr. Dee.

However things are rarely as ideal as they may seem, with the lull of the dragging and tired "Lonely Press Play" being a sour indicator of things to come. All bleeping and clicking, Albarn drawls out a rather bland pastel picture suited to his own idealistic sense of being working class. Never a soulful vocalist, his playful tones feel stifled by a tune that dawdles around a mid-tempo electric drum beat and and generic lyricism ("'Cos you're not resolved in your heart/you're waiting for me"). But that's just analyzing one single of 12 songs; surely the rest of this must at least justify a listen?

Unfortunately, Albarn makes a rather unsatisfying case for this being one of his most avoidable releases. Produced in conjunction with Brian Eno, Everyday Robots doesn't reach the bonkers levels of experimentation it really should. As a man who managed to fuse a wicked and macabre sense of humour with pop music, why on Earth he decided to go down this route is debatable. Of course, midlife is often a time of contemplation and consideration, but those descriptions hardly relate to this quagmire of sullen piano ballads and dub influenced prose. Just take a look at any of the 5 singles that have already been released from this; the emotional pallet explored across the aforementioned "Lonely Press Play", the title track, "Hollow Ponds" and "Mr. Tempo" being interchangeable, with only subtle inclinations of acoustic guitar, EDM beeps and piano lines distinguishing the lot. Devoid of hooks, it leaves very little to get excited about; arguably, it leaves the Eno collaboration "Heavy Seas of Love" as the only distinguishable moment, hardly acceptable coming after 40+ minutes of dull adult contemporary aping rhetoric.

Evidently, Albarn really doesn't have much emotionally to offer outside of his own playful psyche that dominated his time in blur. It's not a dig against the style on offer, nor is it implying that Albarn is a one dimensional character, but it's difficult to get excited for an album that basically meanders around the same mood and never reaches any true catharsis or prophetic intent. Indeed, Albarn has created a highly inoffensive piece so monotonous and tedious that it undoes the one factor that defined him; fun. Here's hoping Graham Coxon is waiting at the finish line.



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user ratings (79)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
RivalSkoomaDealer (3.5)
With Everyday Robots, Albarn has finally decided to step out of the shadows and deliver his most per...

Yourcuntingdaughter (4)
A very personal effort and a fine achievement...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2014



1867 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't understand the praise this is getting. I've isolated myself with it now since its release and it's making me long for blur. I'm gonna go jam Leisure.

Oh, and feedback appreciated.

Digging: Botch - We Are the Romans

MonotoneMop
April 28th 2014



148 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. Nothing will replace Blur.

Rastapunk
April 28th 2014



717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review was well written, although you could have gone a little more into details of a few more songs. Anyway pos'd!

I have to listen to this too

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2014



1867 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I feel so demotivated to write reviews when somebody keeps troll negging everything I write :-/

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2014



1592 Comments


"Albarn has created a highly inoffensive piece so monotonous and tedious that it undoes the one factor that defined him; fun."

I don't think fun has defined Albarn's work in 2 decades.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2014



4381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

I'm currently finishing up my write-up for this, but i dont know, i thought it was really good. in fact I haven't enjoyed something by him this much since the release of Demon Days.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2014



7314 Comments


I more or less agree with this. He's obviously a very creative person, but but a lot of Albarn's post-
Blur material sounds really forced to me.

Also, if you've got time on your hands, this article about the negative influence of Blur and Britpop
is brilliant.

http://thequietus.com/articles/15092-blur-parklife-anniversary-review

zakalwe
April 28th 2014



6605 Comments


Having skimmed through that article it looks like I'll need to give it a proper read however what I will say about Britpop is this.
The total gubbins written in the UK music media at the time (NME, Melody Maker, Select) was a complete Londoncentric view on what was happening when the reality is this.

If you were young and living in the UK during the early 90s you were either holding onto the past, holding onto the declining American alt rock scene or embracing dance or Hip hop.

Britpop offered us 'our' reality of wanting to have a laugh, 'live forever' and have a bit of a movement that was rooted in what was going on.

Idolising grunge made way for identifying on a more base level with people banging on about lasagne, college, bank holidays football and the shipping forecast.

They were great days but the media was fucking horrendous.





Digging: Bob Mould - Beauty & Ruin

MonotoneMop
April 28th 2014



148 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The bonus tracks are on Youtube. "Empty Club" is fantastic and "Electric Fences" is pretty alright too.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2014



15796 Comments


need to listen. might be good

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

MonotoneMop
April 28th 2014



148 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

One thing:

""Lonely Press Play", the title track, "Hollow Ponds" and "Mr. Tempo" being interchangeable, with only subtle inclinations of acoustic guitar, EDM beeps and piano lines distinguishing the lot"

Mr. Tembo sounds nothing like the other three tracks mentioned and that description doesn't fit it remotely. I think you mixed it up with another song.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2014



15796 Comments


apart from the first track this aint bad, sounds a lot like Steve Harley in places.

"Albarn has created a highly inoffensive piece"
just about sums it up, quite like some of it though

VaxXi
April 28th 2014



132 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

My gosh, I almost forgot about this album! I need to get a review for this out. Anyways good review, though you are a little broad on your main point, Id say try to use some songs to back up your points. Otherwise good review, have a pos'd

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2014



1867 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Suede >

Futures
April 28th 2014



7922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Liked the T/T gotta jam this

Digging: Artificial Brain - Labyrinth Constellation

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



1867 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lives in a house very big house in the country

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



1592 Comments


"Whatever makes you happy on a Saturday Night"

Arcade I love you.

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2014



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ali that quietus article is a bit harsh on Parklife eek

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014



1592 Comments


Pretty good article really but holy hell was it long as fuck. By the time I finished it I too hated Blur for a moment.

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2014



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hahaha agreed



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