Damon Albarn has seemingly done all he can to avoid having the time to release a solo album. As well as being the part-time frontman of popular beat combo Blur, he’s also released four albums as Gorillaz, created the super group the Good, the Bad and the Queen, released two EPs of scratchy demos called Democrazy, scored films with Michael Nyman and created two operas. One of those operas, Dr Dee, was referred to by Damon at the time as his most personal project to date, with any suggestion of a proper solo album being forthcoming batted away, because he “never really understood the term”. He seems to have changed his mind, however, with the announcement of his debut solo album proper, Everyday Robots.
Described on his Facebook page as “his most soul-searching and autobiographical yet” with a focus on “nature versus technology”, the album features production from XL boss Richard Russell (who Albarn collaborated with on Bobby Womack’s The Bravest Man in the Universe), as well as guest spots from Brian Eno and Natasha Khan. The first song to emerge from the album is the title track, a snippet of which actually appeared on, of all places, Diplo’s Instagram account more than six months ago. Opening with what sounds like strangely filtered strings, piano and creaking, muffled beats, the opening line – “we are everyday robots on our phones” – makes it clear this particular track focuses on the nature/technology dichotomy as opposed to anything deeply personal. As with most of Thom Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser, Everyday Robots is simultaneously paranoid and pretty, casting an eye over society with a sort of sad shrug and a lilting melody.
via The Guardian