Frank Reber
contributor
March 01, 2007
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Rock Music Reviews
The Good The Bad and The Queen
The Good The Bad and The Queen

I could have cared less about most Blur releases. I was captivated by Gorillaz but couldn't force myself to give two shits about Gnarls Barkley even if I had a gun to my head. So what does this have to do with "The Good, The Bad & The Queen?" Well... Everything!


I fell in like with this album as soon as I heard a 30-second clip of "History Song" played on NPR.

As soon as the clip was over I ran to my computer to find out more about this group "The Good, The Bad & The Queen." I discovered that the group was comprised of Damno Albarn (from Blur, Gorillaz), Paul Simonon (bassist for The Clash), Tony Allen (Africa 70 and Fela Kuti) and Simon Tong (The Verve).. and of course, Danger Mouse. It's a supergroup of musicians. Another interesting aspect is the name is just the name of the album. The group itself doesn't have a name.


"History Song" happens to be the first song off of the self-titled album and it's full of groovy bass lines and guitar scratches accompanied by catchy vocal chants that keep me tapping my feet. However, this isn't the best track on the album at all. The tracks got better the deeper I traversed into the album. All of the high points have been taken from Blur and Gorillaz and combined into this marvelously arranged piece of audio art. Although I've seen this album classified as "Reggae - Dub" I just don't hear it. As a matter of fact, I hear the influences of Brian Wilson in "80's Life" and that is about as far from "dub" as I could imagine. I get an almost trip-hop vibe from "Northern Whale" that creeps up my spine like an anxiety attack set to the sounds of synthesizers and samples. The drum pattern in "Herculean" sounds like something DJ Shadow would have used. It's like the Beatles got together with Ben Folds and then wrote a less cartoony version of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips and added a lot of vocal overdubs reminiscent of Brian Wilson with a bassier voice.

The real colors of this album come to shine at the end like a sunset of sound. The guitars and pianos tickle my ear drums. "Green Fields" is hands-down my favorite track on the CD. It's so smooth that it's fluid that I find myself drowning in the melody. I'm reminded heavily of the Beatles' "A Day In The Life" as I allow myself to get wrapped up in the soundwaves.

Release date: January 22, 2007
Label: Parlophone
Rating: 8.0 / 10

On the web: http://www.thegoodthebadandthequeen.com/
[RMR]