Albums to watch

The Magic Whip

Blur

The Magic Whip

Eighth album and first for twelve years from the legendary Britpop quartet recorded in Hong Kong and produced by Stephen Street

ADM rating[?]

7.6

Label
Parlophone / Warner Bros
UK Release date
27/04/2015
US Release date
28/04/2015
  1. 10.0 |   God Is In The TV

    The most complete and astonishing album that anyone has produced in years
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  2. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    It may just be music, but it feels like a great big hug
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  3. 8.5 |   The Quietus

    While not quite the gang of four of old, they are all pulling in the same direction and, even for the most casual Blur fan, that is a glorious thing
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  4. 8.3 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    More than a nostalgic retread
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  5. 8.1 |   Paste Magazine

    Britpop’s giants are back, and they sound surprisingly the way we had hoped they would: melodic, contemplative and content as a single unit
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  6. 8.0 |   NOW

    Does the right amount of looking inward and outward, forward and backward
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  7. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Leaves listeners hoping that it won't be another 12 years before Blur make another record that sounds this fine
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  8. 8.0 |   Time Out

    Some of us have come a long way with this great, perhaps even quintessential London band. Against the odds, ‘The Magic Whip’ shows there’s more distance left to run
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  9. 8.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    As The Magic Whip proves, that legacy is a malleable entity, and the band remains concerned only with stretching it in ways they’ve never considered before
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  10. 8.0 |   Digital Spy

    Twelve years after their last record, 16 after the last one as a quartet, Blur sound as vital and innovative as they ever did
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  11. 8.0 |   All Music

    Casually confident and so assured in its attack it feels like a continuation, not a comeback
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  12. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Blur have returned with inspiration to spare
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  13. 8.0 |   Spin

    Worthy company to any of the band’s classic LPs
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  14. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    What really shines out is just how strong Blur's identity really was and how good it feels for the band to have settled back into it
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  15. 8.0 |   NME

    This is a reunited band making music to rival their very best
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  16. 8.0 |   Beardfood

    They’re a band still able to find new emotional triggers their contemporaries have yet to discover. Their magic remains as strong as ever
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  17. 8.0 |   The List

    The Magic Whip hasn’t been studied or pored-over, and that something alchemical and very natural has been allowed to work together once more
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  18. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Dystopian tunes brought on by sprawling neon cities are hardly a new thing in pop. But at best, this incarnation of Blur have a knack for making this bewildering world seem small, and our troubles universal
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  19. 8.0 |   Q

    This might turn out to be one of the most accomplished records of the year. Print edition only

  20. 8.0 |   Mojo

    For a collection with an eye on the setting sun and the slow decline, it’s a fine late flowering
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  21. 8.0 |   Uncut

    At its best The Magic Whip thrums with ideas and possibilities. Print edition only

  22. 8.0 |   music OMH

    The Magic Whip succeeds splendidly in coming across as a comeback album that hasn’t been overthought
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  23. 8.0 |   State

    If this is the last we hear of Blur, it is a strong, dignified final bow
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  24. 8.0 |   The Music

    While they make it look so deceptively simple, you wonder why they ever stopped
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  25. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    13 sounded like the end of a band. Think Tank sounded like the end of a band. The Magic Whip does not sound like the end of a band
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  26. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Musically, they don’t sound like a band taking a final curtain call. They sound like a band filled with ideas and potential new directions, who have plenty left to do together, if they choose
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  27. 8.0 |   FasterLouder

    Up there with Blur’s best albums, and a reminder of just how well the band reconcile their divergent ideas
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  28. 8.0 |   Earbuddy

    It just sounds like an ordinary Blur record. And an ordinary Blur record? That sounds good to me
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  29. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    All The Magic Whip tries to be is nothing more than the band in their purest form, deprived of all commercial considerations so that their eccentricities are all that remains
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  30. 7.0 |   Pitchfork

    In the moments when The Magic Whip is most interested in sounding like a Blur album, it is perhaps too interested
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  31. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The Magic Whip isn't a triumphant return of a Britpop champion; instead, it's a mature, measured document from a band that's never rested on its laurels
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  32. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    Even with its faults, The Magic Whip is remarkably cohesive; not a single track is superfluous, flippant, or jarring
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  33. 6.7 |   A.V. Club

    It’s a testament to the band’s intangible chemistry that The Magic Whip doesn’t feel like an Albarn (or a Coxon) solo effort; the album sounds like a Blur record
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  34. 6.5 |   Crack

    The Magic Whip isn’t perfect but it’s certainly a welcome return for a songwriting partnership that’s spent far too long in the dark
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  35. 6.5 |   Under The Radar

    It has to count as a success, because Blur sound like a band from 2015 rather than 1995
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  36. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    It's when the riffs seem plucked straight from the annals of 1997 that Blur seem to remember how to have fun
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  37. 6.0 |   The FT

    It doesn’t compare with their heyday: there are too many glued-on choruses and scribbled-down lyrics, testament to the songs’ origins in jamming. But the best tracks are engrossing
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  38. 5.8 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Everything on The Magic Whip sounds like the band put together every idea to warrant absolute comeback status
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  39. 4.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Blur are still capable of writing truly great music; their 2012 single “Under the Westway” was one of the best things that they’ve ever done. But the new album fails to deliver on that promise
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Blur: The Magic Whip

  • Download full album for just £11.49
  • 1. Lonesome Street £0.99
  • 2. New World Towers £0.99
  • 3. Go Out £0.99
  • 4. Ice Cream Man £0.99
  • 5. Thought I Was A Spaceman £0.99
  • 6. I Broadcast £0.99
  • 7. My Terracotta Heart £0.99
  • 8. There Are Too Many Of Us £0.99
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