Merrie Land Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the supergroup that includes Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Simon Tong and Tony Allen was influenced by the Brexit vote.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Nov 16, 2018
    83
    It does work as a bulwark against the cherry-picking, playlist-happy listening habits of the modern music fan. It works best as a complete dose of bitter medicine; a groove-happy message of fear, love, and measured hope.
  2. 80
    The ten songs on this thing really are special, and worthy of the epic introduction tacked on to every article about it.
  3. 80
    For all its gloom, Merrie Land is an entertaining and theatrical album, with vocals that capture the social observation of early album Parklife. It’s also an immensely clever feat of word painting, never relying on lyrics alone to reflect the sense of anxiety.
  4. Nov 21, 2018
    80
    Merrie Land feels like the perfect soundtrack for these uncertain, worrying times.
  5. Dec 4, 2018
    80
    He's mined this territory before, notably in Gorillaz's Demon Days, yet the very fact that the Good, The Bad & The Queen function as a band, drawing strength from their own interplay, gives Merrie Land a human resonance that echoes long after the final song ends.
  6. Dec 5, 2018
    75
    While the Good, the Bad & the Queen are skilled at providing a wide breadth of styles here--from the woozy, carnivalesque organ of “The Last Man to Leave” to “The Truce of Twilight”’s militaristic chants--they especially succeed at conveying a crumbling and isolated Britain.
  7. Nov 16, 2018
    60
    The musical mood of much of the album is a dense, unsettled fug: slightly paranoid, rather unfocused.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jul 9, 2019
    8
    I can't think of any other artist whom my opinion of has changed so much over time than Damon Albarn. I still don't rate Blur's early stuffI can't think of any other artist whom my opinion of has changed so much over time than Damon Albarn. I still don't rate Blur's early stuff and I hate them at the time. Since their eponymous album in the late 90's they produced some truly great work while Albarn himself has gone on to achieve legend status. Prolific and diverse, the mans output over the last 20 years is exceptional. This particular side project is closest to his Blur work. For me, this album is Albarn tackling themes he looked at in his youth (England and Britishness) but bringing a sharper focus and more weight to it. Its like what Blur could have been doing in the first bit of the 90's if they had had 25 years experience behind them. Of course there is more than Albarn going on here. This is a super group that does the term justice with Paul Simonon (The Clash), Simon Tong (The Verve) both bringing their sublime talents to the mix along with the African rhythm of Tony Allen. Merrie Land, Lady Boston and Ribbons are standouts but the record needs to be listened to as a whole. The Tony Visconti element cannot be overlooked either with this having very much a Bowie vibe in many ways. Expand
  2. Nov 18, 2018
    8
    Eleven years or so were worth the wait. It's of course occurring inside of a very different context in relation to their first record, but itEleven years or so were worth the wait. It's of course occurring inside of a very different context in relation to their first record, but it keeps that immersive, eerie, playful and musically diverse atmosphere that makes their work in this format so delightful, so delicious, original. A couple of colors in the palette have changed, I guess this time around it's a bit darker, probably even more introspective than the first one. But, as I suggest, it manages to intrigue our ears on unsuspected levels with each listen. I simply love TGTBATQ, because that's exactly what made that record age so well for me, so time will tell me, eventually, if Merrie Land shall be remembered and appreciated the same way, but even not being a British person myself, I think the record is brilliant and necessary on its insights on the current socio-political landscape there. Cheers to this! Expand