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Parlophone, April 2012

Graham Coxon has already had his foray in the Blur reunion this year, notioriously playing at the Brit Awards, with their entrance signalled by Adele flipping the bird. He’s now back with his new solo album, which may not be as controversial or attention-grabbing as the britpop boys but it does the trick.

Unlike the yards of guitarists gone solo, I’ve always had a special place for the former-sometimes-kinda-Blur guitarist’s work. This is in no small part, thanks to his fifth solo album Happiness in Magazines. The 2004 release showed a decisive turn in Coxon‘s solo work by putting more focus on superior recording and it was the better for it.

‘What’ll It Take’ is a stand out track and the first single from Graham Coxon‘s latest album A+E, with its repetitive lyrics and Coxon’s often angry vocals underpinning it. The almost comical lyrics seem like his anger is misplaced “What will it take to make you people dance” before revealing the beloved truthful line “I don’t really know what’s wrong with me“.

It’s followed on the album by ‘Meet and Drink and Pollinate’ which takes a disillusioned trip down the Friday night antics route. The rinse-repeat stale vulgarity, we’ve all witnessed a little too often and know a little too vividly are brought to life. This is well covered territory for the britpop guitarist but seems like a decisively more sour reflection.

Coxon brings us back to his punky, down and dirty ways. From a well-known Camdenite, where misfits live side by side, we get ‘Running For Your Life’. It talks about not fitting in “We don’t like your haircut and your attitude” and tactically legging it. A fantastic, fast-paced song that will doubtless be stuck in your head. Coxon even takes to the sax for this track, an unusual turn considering he also plays all the instruments on the record. He certainly shows what experience can lend an album.

A+E shows Graham Coxon returning to form with experimentation and progression. His vigour and often beer-soaked lifestlye doesn’t fail to translate into great music.

Graham Coxon – ‘What’ll It Take’