Happiness In Magazines Review

artist: Graham Coxon date: 12/27/2007 category: compact discs
Graham Coxon: Happiness In Magazines
Release Date: May 25, 2004
Label: Trans Copic
Genres: Lo-Fi, Britpop, Pop Underground, Indie Pop, Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
It's suitably perverse that Graham Coxon released his first full-fledged pop album, Happiness in Magazines, in 2004, the year after his former bandmates in Blur tipped the scale in favor of the indie art rock he championed while he was in the band.
 Sound: 6
 Lyrics: 5
 Overall Impression: 5.5
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reviews (2) 2 comments vote for this album:
overall: 3.7
Happiness In Magazines Reviewed by: Gwynnell, on october 29, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 'Happiness in Magazines', basically just an album that is trying to say I'm as good as Blur when I'm by myself. Which if Graham Coxon thinks is true, he is very wrong. The album jumps to a start with 'Spectacular', which in all fairness is a pretty good track, but it does scream out, I want radio play. Which it will get it's a catchy song, repetitive, but the middle-aged women will love it! The sound of the album is relatively similar to 'The Great Escape' but doesn't feel like it is a collection of ditched songs, although it could be, because some songs are poor, and I mean very poor. He's a clever guy, a very good guitarist, an ok singer but not good enough to sing lead for an entire album. It's lacking talent in all honesty. Not a creative spark in the album, you would have heard it all 10 times before. // 4

Lyrics: Lyrically it is poor, I'm foaming at the mouth and I'm really freakin' out You can tell Graham doesn't write the lyrics for Blur, and these are probably the best lyrics on the album! His voice is good on one or two tracks, noticeably 'Freakin' Out' but over the duration of the album it gets irritant and just gets on your nerves till you're fed up with him for the next 6 months. Not a good trait for an artist! // 3

Overall Impression: Overall the album is poor. Missing everything that is great about Blur. A chapter to forget for Graham Coxon who generally is quite talented, but it doesn't show here. The only stand out track is 'Freakin' Out' which was a huge hit. If I lost the CD I wouldn't replace it, I would download 'Freakin' Out' and that would be it. It's dreary, unimaginative, samey album and is just a man trying to scream out I'm good without Blur! When in all honesty, he really isn't! // 4

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overall: 7.3
Happiness In Magazines Reviewed by: Alex6655321, on december 27, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: It seems to me that The Gra is being a little self-indulgent here, by exploring the sounds and styles of various acts he clearly finds inspirational. Bittersweet Bundle of Misery chimes through with a Kinks-esque barre chord rhythm track, Girl Done Gone clearly champions the bluesy sounds of Clapton and Hendrix (with a fantastic solo), and so on. Tracks that sound like Coxon is playing as he'd like to play include Spectacular, No Good Time (probably my favourite track), Freakin' Out and the tour de force that is People of the Earth. // 8

Lyrics: Coxon's lyrics are pre-occupied with subject matter that is clearly personal to him. While not exactly eloquent, he certainly has an idiosyncratic style that is endearing, funny, scathing at times and loveable at others. Coxon also demonstrates a talent for dialect terms and colloquialisms that ring true with his voice. It can't be said he's a good singer, but there's an honesty and modesty to his vocals that you will never find in the postuering of other rock stars. // 7

Overall Impression: Coxon has huge musicality, which is made apparent with this homage to various musical styles. Where the album falls short is perhaps in some of the less memorable songs, which if one were to be more critical, could even be considered fillers. But still, Coxon remains the guitarist's guitarist, and anyone who takes real pleasure from listening to simple arrangements, good chord use and alternative tunings, and of course blistering solos, will find this album worthwhile. // 7

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