The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Some "supergroups" are the result of meticulous planning while others just happen. Former Blur frontman Damon Albarn began working on a solo album in London with Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley) producing. As sometimes happens, the direction changed with the addition of The Clash bassist Paul Simonon, ex-Verve guitarist Simon Tong and drummer Tony Allen. The group's name was Albarn's a distillation of his impressions of London.
The release of The Good, The Bad & The Queen's debut single, "Herculean" was followed by an appearance on the BBC's Electric Proms. A handful of "warm-up" shows preceded the release of their second single, "Kingdom Of Doom" and their self-titled '07 full-length effort.
It's not necessarily true that bad things happen when a musician attempts an artistic statement. Usually, the problem is nothing happens at all. That's certainly an affliction hampering The Good, The Bad & The Queen's low-key debut. Electronic noises adorn some captivating melodies but the album is often a bore.
Anyone expecting echoes of Blur, the Clash or even the Verve will be sorely disappointed. The two singles, "Herculean" and "King Of Doom" have the strongest arrangements with the latter being the better of the two. The "80s Life" invokes the era while "Three Changes" has a noir-ish cool. But with the possible exception of the piano driven title track and the majestic vocal harmonies on "Nature Springs," there isn't much else worth mentioning.