Indescribable…Indestructible…Nothing can stop it! The Blur! Damon Albarn & Co. have been forced to become what many bands before them (U2, Radiohead) have welcomed with open arms. With guitarist Graham Coxon out of the picture, world beats and bass guitar take on new lead roles on Think Tank, a rather disjointed follow-up to the band’s experimental 13. Think Tank is less focused and seems to be a casserole of leftovers from Albarn’s recent side affairs, including the exhilarating Gorillaz project (see the bass-driven funk noir of “Brothers & Sisters” and “Jets”). As their label bio proudly proclaims: there are “all sorts of curious noises where electric guitars used to be.” It’s an indulgence U2 perfected on their underrated Pop album and a handicap Radiohead and R.E.M. continue to suffer. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some hidden gems: the deceptively funky opening track, “Ambulance,” with its dirgy organs and restrained vocal, more than recall the U2 of the 1990s, while Albarn’s falsetto on tracks like “Good Song” are pure Bono-licious. The band excels at the softer melodies of the aptly-titled “Sweet Song” and the lovely “Out Of Time,” but a handful of Clash-influenced tracks (including “Crazy Beat” and “Gene By Gene,” both produced by Fatboy Slim) ultimately sound out of place here.
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