Posted by: will | January 25, 2007

The Good, The Bad & The Queen…


The Good, The Bad & The Queen “The Good, The Bad & The Queen” (Virgin)

Buy it at Insound!

With a line-up this good and diverse I figured this album would be a total letdown…a mess and waste of my time. Yet, I figured I needed to give a listen to confirm my suspicions. If you do not know The Good, The Bad & The Queen is a new group featuring Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) Paul Simonon (The Clash), Simon Tong (The Verve) and Afrobeat pioneer and drummer Tony Allen (Africa 70). Oh, and to top it off the album was produced by Danger Mouse (Gorillaz, Danger Doom). I could not have been more wrong about this album. The band creates modern, dark folk-pop with electronic flourishes and even some reggae hop to it.

With such a eclectic cast one would figure the album would have been all over the map. However, the album has a very uniform feel to it. The album sounds like a real band…not just some cast of stars getting together to record. The songs flow remarkably well with each other. Danger Mouse’s production is subtle, yet deliberate. The atmospheres created by him compliment the band’s moods perfectly. There is a hazy, rainy darkness that creeps through this album. Perhaps it’s because it is said to be Albarn’s musical description of London. It is almost ghostly at times. The whole album reminds me of that feeling I get when I listen to “Ghost Town”, the old Specials song.

The Good, The Bad & The Queen have created a mysterious and fascinating record that gets better and reveals more with each listen. The production, the textures created by the band and the lyrical imagery of Albarn all coincide to create something truly unique. It is a beautifully sad, yet uplifting album that just might be Albarn’s crowning achievement as an artist. It also makes for the first big surprise of 2007.

RIYL: Blur, The Specials, The Clash


The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Kingdom Of Doom (mp3)

The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Northern Whale (mp3)



  1. It’s a nice all-star line up. I have to listen to more, they’re not grabbing me on the first listen. I do like some of the little touches like on “80’s Life” the way they make it sound like a warped vinyl record.

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