Check out Blur´s The Magic Whip Making-Of Documentary
‘The Magic Whip: Made in Hong Kong’ is a 30-minute film about the making of blur’s new album, featuring exclusive interviews and personal studio footage shot by the band.
The Magic Whip is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Blur. It was recorded in Hong Kong and London, and released by Parlophone on 27 April 2015 and Warner Bros. Records on 28 April 2015. It is the band’s first studio album since Think Tank(2003), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in Blur’s career.
In May 2013, the group were set to play Japan‘s Tokyo Rocks Music festival. However, the entire festival was cancelled for unknown reasons, leaving the band stranded in Hong Kong for an extra 5 days. In an attempt to distract themselves, they worked on new material in Avon Studios, as announced by Damon Albarn during the gig at AsiaWorld–Expo, Chek Lap Kok. Albarn later stated he was unsure whether the resulting music would ever be released.
In July 2014 he commented, “There are about 15 songs…the annoying thing is, if I’d been able to write the lyrics there and then about being there, we’d have finished the record. But sometimes, if you can’t do it all at once, it dissipates really and I don’t know what I’d sing about now with that record. There’s some great tunes on there, but it may just be one of those records that never comes out.”
In November 2014, Coxon received Albarn’s approval to work further on the recordings with producer Stephen Street, while Albarn was touring his solo album, Everyday Robots (2014). Street had worked on Coxon’s solo albums but not with Blur since their self titled 1997 release. Once nearing completion, Coxon presented the music to Albarn to see if it was worthy of an album. On the way back from his tour of Australia in December, Albarn stopped in Hong Kong once more for lyrical inspiration. Vocals were completed towards the end of January 2015 and the album’s mastering was finished on 18 February 2015
The cover of the album features the Chinese words of 模糊 魔鞭, which literally means Blur Magic-whip in neon-lit fashion. Art director Tony Hung, who also created the lyric video for “Go Out”, the first track to be released from the album, met with frontman Damon Albarn in early 2015 to discuss the album artwork and was shown photos and ephemera from the singer’s travels in Hong Kong. Albarn also explained how the album came into being and his thoughts around it. “The album title The Magic Whip he explained was multifaceted,” says Hung. “An ice cream in the UK, a firework in China and a ‘whip’ in a political sense. These extremes would reflect the different textures, breadth and depth of the album.” Hung says that the band wanted a cover that touched on those themes and that also had a “rawer feel” to give a sense of how the record came together in Hong Kong (the band recorded quickly, in a small studio in the city)
The video for “Go Out” was uploaded to YouTube on 19 February 2015. Videos for “There Are Too Many of Us” and “Lonesome Street” followed on 20 March and 2 April 2015, respectively. “My Terracotta Heart”, “I Broadcast”, and “Ong Ong” were made available shortly before the album’s release as promotional singles, and their official audios were uploaded to YouTube on 18 April 2015, 21 April 2015, and 23 April 2015, respectively. “Y’all Doomed”, the bonus track on the Japanese edition, was released as a 7″ single on 27 April 2015
The album has received universal acclaim from British and American music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 81, indicating “universal acclaim,” based on 32 reviews.
DIY magazine critic Stephen Ackroyd stated: “Their magic remains as strong as ever.” Helen Brown of The Telegraph stated that the album “turns out to be a triumphant comeback,” and noted that “it retains the band’s core identity while allowing ideas they’d fermented separately over the past decade to infuse their sound with mature and peculiar new flavour combinations.” Andy Gill ofThe Independent gave the album a positive review, calling it “a beautiful comeback.” Spin writer Andrew Unterberger gave the album an 8/10 rating and said, “Magic Whip is a fun album, nearly as much as any Gorillaz LPs,” adding, “Magic Whip finds enough majesty and intrigue in the band’s more meditative days to remain worthy company to any of the band’s classic LPs.” Writing for the Rolling Stone magazine and giving the album four-out-of-five stars, David Fricke called the album “A dark, seductive set that cements a legacy”, stating that “Blur have returned with inspiration to spare.
|2.||“New World Towers”||4:02|
|4.||“Ice Cream Man”||3:23|
|5.||“Thought I Was a Spaceman”||6:16|
|7.||“My Terracotta Heart”||4:05|
|8.||“There Are Too Many of Us”||4:26|