A+E

Studio Album by released in 2012

A+E review

Only Blur member to keep going

Graham Coxon is a guitarist of the celebrated British band Blur who have long been leading an active and fruitful solo career. Usually, when it comes to this, many do not greet these projects enthusiastically, believing that instrumentalists are originally nothing but helpers to frontmen, and one should not expect much from him who is not supposed to have prominent singing abilities. However, Coxon has long passed the times when he had to prove anything to anybody. He is known for a trademark guitar play style, loved and cherished by many, and has tried to stick to it through all these years. Besides, he is, as a matter of fact, the only Blur member who did continue working with music after the outfit’s collapse. Apparently, this man still has some unsaid ideas as he strives to share them with listeners over and over again. Coxon’s eighth album, A+E, is his bold effort to go beyond his comfort zone which seems an ultimate success.

Music gets complicated, nerves get tensed

A+E speeds up on the rails of Coxon’s oldest and favorite style of pop punk rock. Advice, the album’s opening track, is a straight reference to the times he used to play that music out loud and, furthermore, to a noticeable episode when he was beaten up for doing Smiths material. City Hall starts to let in some electronic, although, without harming the guitar sound. Yet, by the time number three, What’ll It Take, steps in, punk rock has partially transformed into psychedelic rock. Guitars become thin, synths become thicker, and the same lyrical line gets repeated in rounds. However, the most illustrative deviation from the common stylistics is the song called The Truth. This is one is a threatening, sinister track with a mood least suitable for rock and roll. The same works for Seven Naked Valleys, except for more tangible guitars and solid rhythm section. After getting back to the merry, melodious and witty rock and roll on Run For Your Life, Coxon once again goes for experiments. Bah Singer is sharp like a knife as it cuts, scratches and grinds to an amounting tempo, which build on tension. Knife In The Casket is a slow song where Graham shows magic tricks using very simple techniques. Finally, we have Ooh, Yeh Yeh, a track that reminds of a more familiar Graham Coxon.

A+E is the best Coxon has ever done

It does not take a genius to see that A+E is Graham Coxon’s most mature and profound work to date. Out of nowhere, to a massive amazement, he produced a record that is a demolishing bomb. Having lulled the audience, making everyone one think he is slowing down, Graham delivered A+E, a sheer sensation. This is an album that combines and fuses everything, reaching a perfect harmony for all its elements. As for Graham himself, he has managed to retain his well-know abilities and demonstrate some new. He is still the Coxon that loves playing British pop rock, and yet he is the new Coxon who is open to experiments, particularly electronic sounds. At times, A+E has resemblance to Blur catalogue, yet no in terms of style or execution, but rather in terms of delivery. Once more time, and for the first time in several years, Graham Coxon is more a creator than a performer. With a versatile music, with a taste for words and a feeling for what is needed, he brings his most exciting album ever one should not miss.