Graham Coxon – A+E LP
Bearing in mind that his last solo release was 2009's folksy The Spinning Top, and that he is a man comfortably into his 40s, who’d have expected Graham Coxon to suddenly embrace dance music and start singing about youth culture? Definitely not us, but that’s exactly the approach Coxon’s embraced for his eight full-length solo offering, inspired by his belief that ‘the country’s going insane’ (more in the mag, folks) and taking us on an eclectic, rollercoaster ride through Coxon’s musical landscape via the dizzying lows of Corp’s smoking area in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
“Why can’t you realise?/Just get more paralysed;” from the first lines of the guitar driven, indie belter ‘Advice’, the theme is evident; this is a damning commentary on Booze Britain™, but one that is executed with talent and finesse that belies its subject matter. Whilst the opening track has the rock ‘n’ roll buzz of an adrenaline fuelled pre-drinking session, ‘City Hall’s electric beat and ethereal vocals see Coxon blurring reality with a psychedelic journey under the streetlights, while ‘Seven Naked Valleys’ clumsily seduces you before spiralling out of control to the sound of siren-imitating synths and layer upon layer of subtly manipulated feedback.
The manic vocal delivery and heavily overdriven guitar on ‘Running for your Life’ quite aptly creates the musical equivalent of the song’s title, with the deliciously snarled “We don’t like your haircut or your attitude/get back up the M1 ‘cos we don’t like you” delivered with the perfect mix of irony and disdain.
Ok, so black-eyes and blurry morning-after-the-night-befores are no longer a feature of Coxon’s world, as is perhaps evident with the cutting, down-my-nose sarcasm of ‘Meet and Drink and Pollinate’, but A+E portrays him as the Peter Pan of the musical world, and let’s be honest, why would we ever want him to grow up?
Words by Lewis Parker.
Want more? Well, luckily for you greedy lot we have plenty of Coxon to go around this month. Catch our interview with the great man in April’s mag or right here.