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Dr Dee

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Audio CD, May 8, 2012
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Amazon's Damon Albarn Store


Image of album by Damon Albarn


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With Blur bandmates Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree, Albarn released seven albums which placed the band at the forefront of Britpop. He is a not-so evil mastermind behind the most successful virtual band ever, Gorillaz, - and the voice of spiky blue-haired frontman 2D – whose four multi-million selling albums contain elements of rock, trip-hop, pop, hip-hop, electronica, and ... Read more in Amazon's Damon Albarn Store

Visit Amazon's Damon Albarn Store
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • ASIN: B00630HJBY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,268 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Golden Dawn
2. Apple Carts
3. Oh Spirit Animate Us
4. The Moon Exalted
5. A Man of England
6. Saturn
7. Coronation
8. The Marvelous Dream
9. A Prayer
10. Edward Kelley
11. Preparation
12. 9 Point Star
13. Temptation Comes In The Afternoon
14. Watching the Fire That Waltzed Away
15. Moon (Interlude.
16. Cathedrals
17. Tree Of Life
18. The Dancing King

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.
I love music that is experimental, melodic and beautiful, but above all I love music that doesn't play it safe.
For fans of Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad & The Queen, etc, this will be a huge disappointment.
P. Sethi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nse Ette TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 8, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
Hmmm, let's see, Damon Albarn has dabbled in African music ("Mali Music", "Kinshasa One Two", Rocket Juice & Moon"), groovy Hip hop/Funk (Gorillaz), Chinese-influenced Pop ("Monkey: Journey to the West"), and Jazz/Rock/Dub ("The Good The Bad And The Queen"), so it's always interesting to see what new direction he will head next.

Fans of Blur will be pleased with "Dr Dee", well fans of their slower moodier stuff like "No Distance Left To Run" or their final "Think Tank" album.

The 18 tracks veer from instrumentals ("The Golden Dawn", "A Man Of England" or the guitar-drenched "Moon (Interlude)"), to acoustic Folky stuff ("Apple Carts" or "The Marvelous Dream"), the hymnal ("O Spirit, Animate Us" and "A Prayer"), or "Preparation" which comprises shuffling tribal percussion.

Some songs feature female accompaniment: "The Moon Exalted", "Saturn", "Coronation", to mention a few. Very olde English and never less than melodic and affecting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Daniel TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 21, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Damon Albarn has described DR DEE as "strange pastoral folk," and it is a pretty close description. DR DEE is an experimental English opera about the historical figure John Dee by the chief songwriter of Gorillaz and Blur, Damon Albarn. DR DEE, however, does not resemble much of Albarn's past work. Certain tracks on this album resemble Blur ("Apple Carts", "Saturn", "The Marvelous Dream"), but the bulk of the album is dedicated to operatic folk. This album has all the hallmarks of a disaster: a former rock star making an epic opera about an 16th century alchemist? Luckily, DR DEE stands on its own as a good listen in Albarn's discography that borders on greatness.

While DR DEE is a good album and worth a listen, it often feels disjointed. Tracks range from traditional opera (" A Man of England"), to experimental opera ("Edward Kelley" and "The Fire that Waltzed Away"), orchestral instrumentals ("The Golden Dawn") to the aforementioned Blur-esque acoustics. If the listener is interested in any of these genres, these tracks are recommended for sampling. I would like to stress, however, that this album was not necessarily built to stand by on a track-by-track basis. It works best as a whole (although it does feel somewhat discontinuous at times). Fans of Phillip Glass's work in opera may find interest in many of these tunes. I would cautiously recommend this to fans of Blur with the caveat that they sample the tracks first; many of the songs don't feature Albarn's vocals which are performed by other more operatic singers. While these arias are good, I'd hesitate to blindly recommend it to someone not knowing what they are in for.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bre on May 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
To me, Dr. Dee by Damon Albarn is genius acknowledging genius. The nearly infallible Damon Albarn has made a record about the english polymath and consort to the queen, Dr. Dee.

The record has a spiritual vibe and is a mix of gospel sounding chants, Damon's amazing vocals, opera, and male and female vocals.

Honestly I prefer Damon's singing(I am in love with his voice!) to the chanting, going-to-church-on Sunday gospel sounding songs such as A Prayer, so if that's not your thing, you should just download the excellent, worthwhile songs where Damon sings. Also, I had a hard time enjoying some of the women's vocals on the opera...

Apple Carts, Coronation, and Dancing King are musts because Damon's magic voice is in them. Just preview the album like I did and make sure you'll enjoy all the songs before you buy cause if opera and gospel sting your nerves, you might not be happy with your purchase. And remember, Dr. Dee is an English opera and that's what your getting on a lot of songs.

3.5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Cook on June 21, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
i admit: i'd been too lazy to really research this dr. dee character, and i wondered if my ignorance on the subject would interfere with my appreciation of this project. i hoped that my appreciation of and respect for damon albarn would win out over my ignorance of dr. dee.

like most people, i LOVE when i'm right. :-)

i find this project to be truly special. there are more than a few goose-bump moments. the man can sing...really sing. the man can write melodies like few others.

i was very late coming to blur. i didn't understand any of it until the "blur" album and didn't really go crazy for them until "13." at that point, i backed up and gave the britpop-era music a fresh listen, and then "think tank" came out. i ended up with a high opinion of damon albarn...a very high opinion indeed. then there was mali music, the good, the bad, and the queen, the soundtrack work, gorillaz, the monkey opera, and rocket juice and the moon,...

i think he's more than proven himself. i was still a bit nervous about this one, though.....but all it took was one listen. it's a total listening experience, and it's beautiful.

it's not blur, so if you're expecting that glorious noise that graham coxon provides, you'll be disappointed. but if you're expecting a beautifully written, beautifully executed song cycle (rather quiet with some operatic flourishes), you'll be thrilled.

i hate this review that i've just written, but i truly do love this piece of work. i see that it only has five reviews, and i was hoping to encourage others to give it a chance. maybe one day i'll look into who this dr. dee man was, but, in the meantime, i've got a new favorite cd.
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