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Graham Coxon | Happiness in Magazines | review | alternative | Lollipop

Graham Coxon

Happiness in Magazines (Astralwerks)
by Tim Den

Is it possible to write a Graham Coxon review without mentioning Blur? Probably not, even if the two camps' music have little in common. For fans of Coxon's elastic, flexible, nuanced, articulate, 100-shades-deep playing found on his former band's albums, get ready for a change of pace. Happiness in Magazines sounds like the knee-jerk reaction to Blur's sophisticated pop, as it squeals and feedsback like a British version of Guitar Wolf. Coxon plays and semi-sings as if he's intent on leading a new wave of jangly Dead Boys, leather jackets on their backs and fists ready to pound whiskeys and faces. Which is good and all, but I was hoping for more variation. I know Coxon has more in him than just Johnny Thunders-meets-Supergrass riffage. Could it be that singing and playing at the same time has forced him to scale back his palette? Or is he finally getting to vent all the aggression built up over years of being in Blur?

Either way, Happiness in Magazines is more one-trick pony than it is 13. Blur fans: Approach with caution.

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