What was it Cope said about avoiding falling into the serious artist trap? Albarn is the perfect example
Personally I think that's a bit unfair seeing as this is only a small part of what he's doing these days.
In the past few years he's been, amongst other things, a cartoon figure that has been responsible for great (fun!) pop music as well as jumping around like a young kid in the thrashy Blur re-union with scant regard for some dignified, serious solo artiste approach.
I've not heard anything off this album, and I doubt I'll be actively seeking it out tbh, but I admire Albarn for wanting to do whatever he wants to do. Surely that where Cope's name should be coming into the equation with Albarn's (alongside the name-dropping and influences on Modern Life Is Rubbish).
Doing what he wants.
If Gorillaz is his Brain Donor (which I consider to be Cope at his most cartoon-like) then couldn't it be said that this is his, say, Odin? A self-indulgent piece that he wants to make regardless of whether there's an audience for it, that will appeal to some fans but not to others?
My sense of Albarn taking himself too seriously is based mainly on the interviews with him that I've seen and read. He comes across as quite humourless and calculating, and the cartoon nature of Gorillaz doesn't necessarily negate that. Actually he seemed to take his part in that project pretty over-seriously as well.
Yes, I think he's talented, yes I admire his work ethic and yes I like a good deal of what Blur did. And I've got no problem with self indulgence or with people pushing at the boundaries of what other people expect from them. All for free artistic self expression and experimenting from anyone.
I don't happen to think 'Dr Dee' -the soundtrack anyway- is very successful though, despite having some really strong moments. It does seem actually like a compromise between doing an opera properly, and an Albarn solo album.
I'm not being snooty- I hope- or having a kneejerk reaction to Damon the britpop upstart who should know his place. Doing what he wants is fine. It's also fine for the likes of us to criticise the results.
I thought he came across fine in the recent Guardian interview. Sure he wasn't telling a gag a minute, but he gave some thoughtful answers. And if he doesn't want to answer a particular question that's his right.
But yeah, of course it's fine for you to criticise the results if you don't like them, just as its fine that I don't have to agree with you.
I'm interested to hear how he took himself too seriously in Gorillaz though!
I'm not saying he took Gorillaz more seriously than they warranted- just that, for all they were a conceptual cartoon band and all that, it didn't mean their creators always approached it in a light hearted or playful way. Maybe there's no reason they should have done. But they weren't something I really followed, so I won't go on.