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The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Damon Albarn

The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

Second solo album from the Blur and Gorillaz front man was originally planned as an orchestral project for Lyon's Fête des Lumieres

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  1. 10.0 |   The Irish Times

    Elegies with moments of up-tempo joy
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  2. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    While lockdown may have forced Albarn and many others through a dark period, it’s produced some of his most awe-inspiring work
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  3. 9.0 |   XS Noize

    Whether Albarn felt spiritually lost, he has found himself again with The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows
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  4. 9.0 |   Vinyl Chapters

    Albarn has thrown caution to the wind to create something he needed rather than a crowd-pleaser, and the result is a breath-taking, abstract piece that mirrors the mood of day.
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  5. 8.2 |   Northern Transmissions

    If you go in with an ear to listen to a real artist, who is dealing with the very real and very universal theme of loss, you may be moved deeply or to tears, with the eleven track offering
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  6. 8.0 |   DIY

    At once warm and familiar but simultaneously a little odd
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  7. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    The former Blur frontman’s newest project is the sonic opposite of his last Gorillaz album - but that’s no bad thing
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  8. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Soaked in a peculiar English melancholy. ... Best of all is the closer “Particles”, one of Albarn’s finest melodies, a woozy, drumless ballad based around a pretty Wurlitzer electric piano riff and a creepy electronic drone that gives the song a hymn-like quality. Print edition only

  9. 8.0 |   Mojo

    May prove to be one of the most beautiful, tangentially produced artefacts of our strange and uncertain times. Print edition only

  10. 8.0 |   NME

    The Blur legend — and his snazzy new mullet — takes us on a spectral tour of far-flung lands
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  11. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    Inspired by Iceland's otherworldly landscapes, Damon Albarn's new album is an arresting blend of ecopoetics and meditations on grief
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  12. 8.0 |   musicOMH

    It’s an immersive, mysterious listen
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  13. 8.0 |   All Music

    The music is grounded in a specific location, which gives this elegiac, enveloping album an emotional weight
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  14. 8.0 |   God Is In The TV

    This album is closer to electronica with hints of jazz – if that makes you want to run screaming, it shouldn’t – yet somehow, it’s still unmistakably Albarn. There’s no saying what he will do over the next five years – but this is a fantastic part of the journey
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  15. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    Damon Albarn’s new album is beautiful, one worthy of the songwriter’s long and oddly-shaped legacy. No Blur or Gorillaz comparisons apply
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  16. 8.0 |   Albumism

    Breaks no new ground, instead it expands on Albarn’s recognizable inclinations with more eccentric imagination. Given his penchant for the experimental, one must commend him for such continued devotion to making music without boundaries
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  17. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Most of the songs seamlessly track into the next while maintaining a distinct identity of their own. With each rotation of the record, Albarn’s artistry allows for discovering new puzzle pieces in a masterfully crafted way
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  18. 7.4 |   Beats Per Minute

    The Nearer the Fountain, The More Pure the Stream Flows is perhaps the deepest inquiry into the artist – but again, we don’t really know if what we are seeing in the mirror is real
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  19. 7.3 |   Pitchfork

    Initially conceived as an orchestral tribute to Iceland’s remote majesty, the Blur and Gorillaz frontman’s second solo album blossoms into a wide-angle commentary on grief, loss, and climate crisis
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  20. 7.0 |   Exclaim

    It's a more focused effort than scattered 2014 solo debut Everyday Robots and more delicate than the bulk of his back catalogue, but Albarn's still drawing outside the lines
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  21. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Solo Damon is a place where his gift for melody is befogged and hazy
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  22. 6.0 |   The Independent

    This is by no means an easy record to fathom, but it does show – even after so many years – you’ll never catch Albarn resting on his laurels
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  23. 6.0 |   Clash

    It won't appeal to those who prefer his party anthems and vibrant disco, but for those who want to see yet another side to this most prolific of musical minds, it's a voyage worth taking
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  24. 6.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Moments of soppiness elsewhere occasionally seep into meandering mawk, but if you’re on Albarn’s side, there’s plenty here to love
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  25. 6.0 |   Dork

    It’s the work of an artist who has always had many different faces, deliberately choosing to go down a low-key road, almost to the point where the casual listener will be crying out for some form of hook or memorable melody from time to time
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  26. 6.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    The Nearer the Fountain captures grace in gloom — the tension, the liminality of such an awe-inspiring setting. If only Albarn could have sustained the majesty and intrigue of the album’s best moments, this could have been something great
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  27. 4.0 |   The FT

    The album’s attempts to create dramatic scenarios inspired by the landscapes of Iceland and Devon feel undeveloped
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