The other day I was driving in my car to get some dental work done. They ended up taking out one of the three wisdom teeth needing removal. I was looking for some new (as in haven’t recently heard) CDs to listen in my car to, and selected Reflection Eternal by Talib Kweli and Hi Tek and Think Tank by Blur. Both classics that I haven’t listened to in awhile.
I loved Blur when I was a bit younger especially during their earlier preppier phase, and remember listening to Think Tank went it came out and liking it. Although, it was a change and pointed more towards the musical directions Damon Albarn would take alone, in his more recent solo work.
I own a copy of Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes on vinyl, and the harmonies and sweet syncopation of Doo-Wop and melody was a wonderful treat to my ears on first listen. I dug it’s analog style. When i was listening to Think Tank on the way to the dentist’s office i was reminded by how much i liked the album but not because it was like earlier Blur outings, but for it’s radical non Brit-pop, experimental touches. As i was just then getting really into African pop and contemporary music I really dug the slight Saharan vibe of certain songs. Which isn’t surprising given that some recording was done in Morocco
However, what really struck me on this most reason listen (of just one day ago) was the similarities between the Doo-Wop harmonizing and Afro-American analog sounds of Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes and the vibe of Blur’s Think Tank. Particularly a combination of melody, multiple harmonies (especially using vocals) and the fuzz of analog sound.