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The Magic Whip Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 138 Ratings

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  • Summary: The British rock band's first studio release in 12 years was recorded while on tour in Asia and produced with Stephen Street.
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Top Track

Ong Ong
La la la La la la La la la... I got on a boat on a hot sunny day To get out of this town But the tarmac was melting and the people seemed to... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    The Magic Whip turns out to be a triumphant comeback that retains the band's core identity while allowing ideas they'd fermented separately over the past decade to infuse their sound with mature and peculiar new flavour combinations.
  2. 83
    The Magic Whip continues along the weird and winding path first trod by Blur’s two previous, and most complex, LPs. More often than not, the album meanders, usually for the better.
  3. 80
    This is a reunited band making music to rival their very best. There’s airmiles aplenty in these Essex Dogs yet.
  4. Mar 31, 2015
    80
    Their magic remains as strong as ever.
  5. Apr 22, 2015
    80
    Musically, they don’t sound like a band taking a final curtain call. They sound like a band filled with ideas and potential new directions, who have plenty left to do together, if they choose.
  6. Apr 28, 2015
    80
    For longtime fans of Blur’s alluring blend of pop smarts, rock edge, and electronic flourishes, The Magic Whip is close to a slam dunk, as the quartet conjures the vibe of its ’90s glory days without veering into rehash territory, making it a good ambassador for potential new listeners as well.
  7. 58
    If it rocks, it fits perfectly in a live setting, easy to place among their best-ofs. But when it slumps, it really crumbles.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Jan 5, 2016
    10
    OH MY GOD. Blur's comeback is really good. Yeah it is a bit hard to get into, but once you get into it, you will love it. Amazing..OH MY GOD. Blur's comeback is really good. Yeah it is a bit hard to get into, but once you get into it, you will love it. Amazing..

    Thoughts on it?
    10/10
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  2. Apr 29, 2015
    10
    Blur has never sounded more confident. Sprawling with ideas, The Magic Whip reveals a band at peace with its past and assured of the present.Blur has never sounded more confident. Sprawling with ideas, The Magic Whip reveals a band at peace with its past and assured of the present. With vocoders, eerie synths, ambient dub sounds, and a sleek urban malaise, Blur confronts the almost insurmountable obstacle of adding to its own legacy with a record of depth and intrigue. The Magic Whip incorporates swatches of Low-era Bowie, nods to its own past, and a healthy dose of Syd Barrett's pop wonder along with Damon Albarn's inimitable sense of melody. Despite how sparse his playing is, this is Graham Coxon's record. He teed the music up for Albarn to carry triumphantly across the finish line. The result is easily one of the band's finest. Though, it isn't buoyed by the zeitgeist of the Britpop era, The Magic Whip is a smart, challenging, forward-thinking album by a band never really given its proper due as unabated pop experimentalists. Perhaps, that will change now. Expand
  3. May 4, 2015
    10
    It took me a few listens before the obvious tracks really kicked in but I'm glad I had some patience. The album slowly revealed itself to beIt took me a few listens before the obvious tracks really kicked in but I'm glad I had some patience. The album slowly revealed itself to be a cohesive, modern day take on their entire career. It definitely isn't as gloriously bombastic as some of early work however, this release is its own beast and is brilliant because of it. I've had a few friends who are fans say they don't like it as a whole yet both gave up after the first run through. If given time this album could win over any longtime fan. Expand
  4. Jun 16, 2015
    9
    Admittedly, I haven’t really been into Blur until sometime last summer, after being a fan of Damon Albarn’s solo stuff. It obviously seemedAdmittedly, I haven’t really been into Blur until sometime last summer, after being a fan of Damon Albarn’s solo stuff. It obviously seemed like they wouldn’t make any more studio records then and that lessened their appeal. Still, I went on to listen through Blur and Modern Life is Rubbish and I loved those. Which means I was quite excited for this album. “Go Out” is a serious banger of a track, and “There Are Too Many of Us” and “Lonesome Street” are both really good leadoffs. So I went to check it out on its release date, and man, I was impressed to say the least. From the bangers like “Lonesome Street”, “Go Out”, “I Broadcast” and “Ghost Ship” to the quieter ones like “Thought I Was a Spaceman” and “My Terracotta Heart”, this album manages to rule in every aspect. Blur still have everything in them, clearly. Expand
  5. Oct 31, 2015
    8
    "The Magic Whip" is surprising on a number of levels. First, the fact that it arrived at all, in 2015, 12 years after Blur's last effort which"The Magic Whip" is surprising on a number of levels. First, the fact that it arrived at all, in 2015, 12 years after Blur's last effort which caused a schism in the band. Secondly, and this is less of a surprise, is how good it is. "The Magic Whip" is arguably Blur's most consistent record played through from start to finish. While they undoubtedly have better songs scattered throughout their back catalog, and have a couple of albums that shade this overall, I don't think any of their previous work has started on such a strong note and proceeded to maintain that level without a single dip in form. Opener "Lonesome Street" parties like its 1997 again - on the surface a throwback to the heady days of the height of Britpop but underneath it is a meld of Blur at their most melodic and experimental. "Go Out" is a similar affair, akin to the material off their eponymous 5th album. These tracks, along with "Ghost Ship" and "Ong Ong" are the standout tracks for me. These are a surrounded by songs that sit near the experimental/art circle but all the time maintaining a pop aspect in terms of melody - a feat that the likes of Radiohead have found increasingly difficult to achieve. Blur in 2015 are most welcome, sounding as vibrant as they did at the peak of their commercial powers. That might even be a bit unfair, "The Magic Whip" could be seen as another peak, a second coming of sorts rather than. Expand
  6. Jun 11, 2015
    8
    A rather altered and unique sound, many electronic elements compared to previous albums but this is a very likeable album. Gets better withA rather altered and unique sound, many electronic elements compared to previous albums but this is a very likeable album. Gets better with every listen, and it's hard to compare to many other artists. Well done Blur. Expand
  7. Jun 13, 2015
    4
    I found quite a lot of this album very dull and lazy. The style-less strumming and wailing "la la la" vocals on "Ong Ong" is a pretty goodI found quite a lot of this album very dull and lazy. The style-less strumming and wailing "la la la" vocals on "Ong Ong" is a pretty good indication of what I thought about a lot of this album. There are some neat melodies and harmonies to be found, but they're hidden amidst a lot of average music. But hey, "Pyongyang" is one of the best tracks I've heard in a long, long time, so at least I'm glad I listened to The Magic Whip. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews