Sunday, March 03, 2019

The Good, the Bad and the Queen: Merrie Land

A downbeat anthem for a country poised on the crumbling edge of Brexit.

The Good, the Bad and the Queen are a modern-day supergroup, formed of Damon Albarn from Blur, Paul Simonon from the Clash, Simon Tong from Verve and the legendary Nigerian percussionist Tony Allen.

Merrie Land is the title track from their second album, which was released at the end of last year.

Madison Bloom writes of it on Pitchfork:
In a passage from the title track, Albarn closes in on that isolation, to claustrophobic effect: "So rebuild the railways/Firm up all the roads," he sings. "No one is leaving now this is your home."
Albarn’s plainspoken phrases hover above the mix, lending a blunt edge to the song’s loping circuit of strings and woodwinds. Simonon's trudging bassline and Allen’s sparse snares imbue his words with an oppressive weight: In Merrie Land, national identity is not a promise but a trap - an estrangement from one’s own true past and the collective history that builds a country.

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