The Good, The Bad and The Queen - Merrie Land Colored Vinyl LP
The Good, The Bad and The Queen Merrie Land Colored Vinyl LP
Merrie Land is the second album from The Good, The Bad & The Queen, a band comprising of Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen and Simon Tong. The project began life with an acclaimed 2007 eponymous effort, a heartfelt tribute to London described by The Observer in a 5 star review as – "One of the most surprising and magical records for which Damon Albarn has ever been responsible."
The record traced a journey from the English music hall tradition to West Africa and Afrobeat, zigzagging through the West Indies and its reggae and dub, back to England and London's punk scene, all the while taking in a strand of British beat music from the '50s right through to Britpop. The result was a record specific to a place and mood but with a background that was geographically wide-ranging.
Produced by Tony Visconti and the band, and completed in London and Wales in 2018, during the current ongoing period in which the UK is preparing to leave the European Union, Merrie Land is a questioning good-bye letter, a series of observations and reflections on Britishness in 2018.
Even though it has been over 10 years since the band last released a record, the timing could not be more apt – there could not be a more perfect band to untangle the optimism, disorientation and confusion in the atmosphere today. With Merrie Land, the band taps into a creative symbiosis of past and future, drawing inspiration from their shared glittering musical histories and wrapping the hybrid results in a brilliantly postmodern yet thoroughly British package.
The album sees the band's focus move beyond London with a beautiful and hopeful paean to the Britain of today - an inclusive Britain - and the possibilities of the future. In the band's own words, Merrie Land is a ten song lament of Anglo-Saxosentialism marking the reluctant end of a relationship, and about picking up the pieces and seeing what can be salvaged.
The band set a beautifully muted palette and lustrous finish to bring out a mood that is bruised yet unapologetically defiant and optimistic, and carries the underlying message: we will survive. In times of metaphysical trauma, the people need to forge ahead and wear armor. Here it is, set to the mood music of a nation about to be broken yet undefeated.
The Good, The Bad and The Queen Merrie Land Track Listing:
2. Merrie Land
3. Gun to the Head
4. Nineteen Seventeen
5. The Great Fire
6. Lady Boston
7. Drifters & Trawlers
8. The Truce of Twilight
10. The Last Man to Leave
11. The Poison Tree
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