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by Stephanie Benson

May 2, 2014

The World of Damon Albarn

by Stephanie Benson  |  May 2, 2014

One of the more fascinating musicians of the last 25 years is one that many in the States may not even know by name. Yet Damon Albarn basically invented Brit pop with his band Blur -- well before everyone was singing "woohoo!" to ubiquitous stadium anthem "Song 2" -- and helped revolutionize pop in the 21st century as the mastermind behind cartoon rabble-rousers Gorillaz. He's also worked alongside members of The Clash and The Verve, as well as revered Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen as the one-off supergroup The Good, The Bad & The Queen. As a supporter for the charity Oxfam, he has teamed up with several musicians across Africa. And he has composed film soundtracks and even operas. Get all that?

Now, he's finally released an album on his own terms, his first proper solo debut, Everyday Robots, and, naturally, it's his most introspective piece of work yet. Over trip-hop drum machine beats, plucky guitar, Lennonesque piano, an occasional choir and two Brian Eno guest shots, Albarn reflects on modern life in its still-rubbish existence -- this time through the lens of an iPhone. Gorgeous, minimalist tracks like "Everyday Robots" and "Lonely Press Play" prove he's still, incredibly, at the top of his game. Get to know the many faces of Damon Albarn, from cultural ambassador to social critic to spokesman for modern malaise, with our attached playlist, which compiles highlights from his impressive, prolific career thus far.

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