Graham Coxon

Graham Coxon

The Sky is Too High


File under Blur. So says the jewel case sticker. Better file it way under there. This album is made of songwriting like that of the Kinks’ Ray Davies in a very demented mood, singing solemnly and with a deeply furrowed brow. Offering disjointed and dysfunctional musical dreamscapes with a sinister feel but seemingly harmless. Vast fields of dissonant chord changes, that is, unnatural sounding and eerie, with pining vocals, take charge here. Most tracks leave those annoying things, like drums and basses, behind. Well, there is a rare cameo or two.

Usually and mostly very acoustic with vocals, Graham is still sounding very British — hazy, foggy, grey, and drizzling. One piece sounds like classic Neil Young with an unplugged Moody Blue member on a collaborative demo. Perhaps Robyn Hitchcock on a very dreary, dyslexic day. One song squeezes CD skip-search speed into a chaotic Sex Pistols frenzy. (Just one.)

The Sky is Too High is a dark and expanded exploration of those little musical fantasy bits on the usual Blur albums, and/or a lot more of the non-traditionality of Blur’s most recent escapade in re-invention. Lyrically, this album is not too challenging, but don’t worry, it’s still musically distracting. Caroline Records, 104 W. 29th St., New York, NY 10001

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