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A+E

Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2012 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions 4 étoiles Rock and Folk - 5/6 de Magic
Snapping out of his folkie fixation, Graham Coxon returns to the fractious guitar skronk of his early solo career on A+E. There's a world of difference between the honed propulsion of A+E and the unformed sketches of his early works: there's plenty of mess here but it's purposeful, sometimes threaded into a steely stiletto, sometimes hanging off the song skeletons like shredded entrails. All the noise comprises sonic brush strokes; it's part of the way Coxon paints his aural picture, and where he was delicately impressionistic on The Spinning Top, he's splattering paint on the canvas here, creating bright, messy, modernistic art. But A+E is not a willfully alienating record -- there's giddiness in its cacophony, in how the guitars grate against the Teutonic rhythms, and the album is hardly an exercise in raw, joyful noise. Beneath all the clatter, A+E has the pop punch of his pair of Stephen Street-produced mid-2000s masterworks Happiness in Magazines and Love Travels at Illegal Speeds, and the combination of precisely crafted pop and fiercely imaginative arrangements results in a thrilling listen. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 26, 2018 | Graham Coxon

Born in West Germany in 1969, Graham Coxon came to fame as the guitarist in Blur. But in moving from pop to music for moving pictures, Coxon has not lost one bit of his predilection for song. And so this soundtrack contains impressive homages to country, rock and folk songs from the 70s, like Angry Me and the ballad Saturday Night. Adapted from a graphic novel by Charles Forsman, this series, which came out on Netflix in 2017, jars audiences with its humorous tale of a psychopathic teenager. Despite this unusual tone, there is no hint of a pastiche in Graham Coxon's work. Everything in his music testifies to his sincere love of the music of the 1970s. ©NM/Qobuz
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Film Soundtracks - Released November 8, 2019 | Graham Coxon

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Folk - Released May 11, 2009 | Transgressive Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 27, 2021 | Graham Coxon

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Rock - Released May 17, 2004 | Parlophone UK

It's suitably perverse that Graham Coxon released his first full-fledged pop album, Happiness in Magazines, in 2004, the year after his former bandmates in Blur tipped the scale in favor of the indie art rock he championed while he was in the band. Coxon always functioned as a passive-aggressive catalyst in the band, pushing songs forward and twisting them inside out with his thrilling, fluid guitar. He was raised on the same British punk and pop as his former collaborator Damon Albarn -- the same stack records by the Smiths, the Specials, and the Jam -- but he had an instinct to pursue a different path than prevailing pop culture, leading Albarn down the path to the Britpop of Parklife and the American-indie pastiche of Blur and 13. On the latter two, he began singing his own compositions, soon stretching out to a series of dogmatically lo-fi solo records before leaving the band during the sessions for their seventh album. Blur continued down the willfully messy indie path with Think Tank, obscuring their songs with meandering arrangements, but Coxon's own contrarian instincts set in when he cut his fifth solo album in 2003: he turned back to guitar pop. He reunited with Stephen Street, who produced Blur's best albums, but retained much of the rough-hewn, D.I.Y. feel of his solo projects for Happiness in Magazines, and the result is a wonderful fusion of ragged invention and sharp, tuneful songwriting. While the basic sound of the record isn't quite a surprise -- since Coxon still plays the bulk of the instruments, it does sound like a homemade record, but the songwriting recalls vintage Blur, so it does sound familiar -- what is a shock is that Coxon has the confidence and will to not hide behind the noise and obscurist tendencies that made his previous solo efforts a bit laborious. Here, his emotions are pushed to the surface and they're married to catchy, memorable songs that are delivered in an immediate, imaginative fashion. This return to guitar pop doesn't feel like a retreat, it feels like a warm acceptance of Coxon's strengths, particularly because he hasn't completely abandoned the guitar squalls and unpolished production of his other four efforts. And that's why Happiness in Magazines feels like Coxon's first true solo album -- it's the first to present a complex, robust portrait of him as an artist, and the first that holds its own next to what he accomplished in Blur. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 13, 2006 | Parlophone UK

Since Graham Coxon began his solo career with deliberate obscurist, alienating indie rock, it was easy to miss his transition back to the pop skills that he extravagantly displayed as the guitarist for Blur, but 2004's Happiness in Magazines was a full-bodied, full-throttle pronouncement that he had returned to the music that made his mark -- and it was damn good too, filled with tight pop songwriting and barbed-wire guitar. Its 2006 follow-up Love Travels at Illegal Speeds betters it in every respect, upping the ante in both its sound and songs. Coxon's writing is taut and precise. Where his earlier solo records felt a little haphazard, as if he was trying to rein in his natural talent for hooks, he lets them accumulate here and lets them build; consequently, this is music that has a bright immediate impact in its tunefulness, but repetition reveals how well-constructed it is. And those repeated listens don't dull the appeal of Love Travels at Illegal Speeds. Much of this is taut, tantalizing pop -- grounded in the melodicism of British Invasion but played with the nervy precision of art-punk -- and while Coxon doesn't work with much more than guitars, bass, drums and harmonies, he finds a variety of lively rhythms and unpredictable textures that not only make this sound fresh, but reveals new sounds upon repeated place. Coxon's ambitions on Love Travels at Illegal Speeds may not be grand -- he has simply made a punky pop album (which is different than punk-pop) -- but his execution is exceptional, which makes this a very appealing album. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 10, 1998 | Parlophone UK

Graham Coxon had often said he felt the loose, jagged, American-indie sound of Blur's self-titled album was "his" more so than the band's other members -- The Sky Is Too High, released between Blur and its follow-up, 13, lends credence to this statement. Most of the record is drum-less, consisting of oddly slanted constructions of electric and acoustic guitars in Coxon's trademark style (quirky, sloppy riffs and arpeggios shooting all over the fretboard) -- the real magic is the way this approach works so perfectly on strange minimal ballads like "In a Salty Sea" and "Waiting," the sorts of constructions Blur shied away from until their self-titled release. The resulting songs are reminiscent of certain pre-Blur tracks (Modern Life Is Rubbish's "Miss America," most notably), but Coxon's low-fi, personal and decidedly non-pop approach makes this sound work as a little world unto itself, rather than a brief excursion on a thoroughly pop record. On the rare tracks where Coxon switches to a driving, noisy full-band arrangement, things are equally slanted and interesting -- since The Sky Is Too High is essentially a side project, and therefore tends to restrict itself to a small, bedroom quality, one has to wonder what a proper solo release from Coxon would sound like. © Nitsuh Abebe /TiVo
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Rock - Released February 24, 2006 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 15, 2021 | Graham Coxon

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Rock - Released November 19, 2001 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released October 21, 2002 | Parlophone UK

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 4, 2019 | Graham Coxon

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Rock - Released June 12, 2000 | Parlophone UK

What with Blur frontman Damon Albarn stealing much of the attention for his loud-mouth antics, it seemed only natural that Graham Coxon, Blur's lead guitarist, would break out on his own for a side project. His debut solo release, 1998's The Sky Is Too High, was sort of like a collection of journal entries featuring acoustic melancholy, off-key guitar explosions and country crooning. Like The Sky, the second album reveals Coxon's appreciation for American indie rock. Whereas the first solo effort was somewhat lo-fi and reminiscent of Lou Barlow, Golden D, which is named after the musical chord, focuses on rock -- the hard and fast variety -- and suggests Sonic Youth and Sex Pistols. Standouts include "Jamie Thomas," a trashy punk thrasher that tributes his favorite skateboarder; atmospheric noodlings on "Lake"; the quirky horn-driven "Oochy Woochy"; and two Mission Of Burma covers ("Fame and Fortune" and "That's When I Reach for My Revolver." Whereas Blur hired producer William Orbit (of Madonna fame) to bring out the band's delightfully sloppy side on its last album, 13, Coxon, who produced Golden D himself, masters messiness the au natural way -- by making the album sound almost exactly as it would live. This, in fact, leads to the most impressive element of Golden D -- that Coxon is solely responsible for everything you hear -- and see -- on the dozen-track album. He provided all the vocal and instrumental work (guitar and drums, mainly). He also released the album on his own label, Transcopic, and created the cover-art work -- a mess of colorful, cartoonish-looking albeit violent scribbles. © Amy Schroeder /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 16, 2018 | Graham Coxon

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Rock - Released December 1, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released August 13, 2004 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released July 14, 2006 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released October 22, 2004 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released April 18, 2005 | Parlophone UK