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Dr Dee

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Damon Albarn

Dr Dee

12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

Dr Dee, a new studio album by Damon Albarn, will be released May 8 by Virgin Records on CD, vinyl, and digital download.

Dr Dee is an 18 track work inspired by the life of John Dee (1527-1608), mathematician, alchemist, philosopher and advisor to Elizabeth I. Dee is a singular enigma: an Englishman so influential that he defined how we measure years, so quintessential that he lives on in Shakespeare's words; yet so shrouded in mystery that he's fallen from the very pages of history itself.

Described by Albarn as "strange pastoral folk," the music of Dr Dee is a fitting companion to the end of another Elizabethan age. The album combines Albarn's voice with early English choral and instrumentation alongside modern, West African and Renaissance sounds. Dr Dee was recorded late last year in Albarn's West London studio and also in Salford with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The album was mixed by Valgeir Sigursson in Reykjavik.


Officially, Dr. Dee is Damon Albarn's first solo album but that's the tiniest misnomer. Ever since Graham Coxon left Blur during the recording of Think Tank, Albarn has been the unquestioned director of his projects, his authoritative stamp evident on Think Tank, all three Gorillaz albums, Mali Music, the Good, the Bad & the Queen, and Rocket Juice & the Moon, so Dr. Dee doesn't exactly have the shock of the new even though it's certainly willfully odd. An opera -- not a rock opera, or the first opera Albarn has written, as he has 2007's Monkey: Journey to the West under his belt -- Dr. Dee concerns itself with the story of John Dee, the 16th century mathematician and occultist who was an advisor to Elizabeth I and is said to be the inspiration for Marlowe's Faustus and Shakespeare's Prospero. Rich material for an opera, in other words, and Dr. Dee is certainly thick with ideas, Albarn not running away from his signature tropes so much as using them as a launching pad for a stately, lugubrious collection of minor-key instrumentals, skeletal pop songs, plainsongs, and madrigals. Much of this is intriguing, yet as an album if not a production, Dr. Dee stays just this side of compelling, always threatening to veer into surprising, dangerous territory yet never quite succumbing to the risk. And that is where Dr. Dee's roots in the stage show: perhaps it is a bit stuffy and hidebound for art rock, but taken as a theatrical production, it's adventurously cerebral, an album to ponder if not quite embrace.

Additional Information

Artist Damon Albarn
Track Listing 1 The Golden Dawn - 3:55 2 Apple Carts - 2:36 3 O Spirit, Animate Us - 3:48 4 The Moon Exalted - 5:42 5 A Man of England - 3:17 6 Saturn - 2:05 7 Coronation - 1:10 8 The Marvelous Dream - 2:23 9 A Prayer - 1:33 10 Edward Kelley - 3:29 11 Preparation - 3:01 12 9 Point Star - 1:32 13 Temptation Comes in the Afternoon - 2:05 14 Watching the Fire That Waltzed Away - 2:37 15 Moon (Interlude) - :28 16 Cathedrals - 3:00 17 Tree of Beauty - 2:00 18 The Dancing King - 3:21

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