Inventory of the solo albums of British guitar legends: Noel Gallagher has made three, Johnny Marr around six and Graham Coxon, the guitar weirdo of the Brit-Pop generation: nine! Solo! Albums!, include his latest work THE WAEVE (pronounced: Wave), a collab with Rose Elinor Dougall. That’s more than the entire Blur collection and one wonders if his means of expression can still be expanded. His luck: he met Dougall, who, with her voice shrouded in a cloud of melancholy and her keyboard skills, took him into her own universe of sounds.

    An eclectic trip through power pop, new wave, dream pop, kraut and folk

    THE WAEVE is an orbit away from the garage punk on Coxon’s biggest hit HAPPINESS IN MAGAZINES and opens promisingly: The album opener “Can I Call You” initially floats in dream pop heaven thanks to Dougall’s nocturnal vocals, after two minutes a break that Motorik-Beat turns up, Coxon sings and pulls out his saxophone as well as the Fender Telecaster.

    So the two share ten songs, sometimes he grabs the microphone, sometimes she, sometimes as a duet. An eclectic trip through power pop, new wave, dream pop, herb and folk with lots of howling saxophones, blaring guitars and string drama. Unfortunately, it has to be said, the duo has swept the scarce goods to the end and shoveled in a shovel of cheesyness for each song in a row: In the last third of the album it dawdles too tiringly. That leaves us with the adventurous energy of the other two thirds, and that’s worth a lot.

    Author: Michael Prenner


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