Blur Frontman Damon Albarn Rates Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Kanye, and Drake

Takes on the greats from the Lord Chancellor of Music, that dude from Gorillaz.


Blur lead singer and wannabe Renaissance man Damon Albarn is one of these rock star types that believe they can literally do anything. They drink yerba matte and buy expensive guitar pedals in their alternate universe, and they are awful.

Woo doo-doo doooo doo. Albarn, baby!

The trouble all started, perhaps, after Albarn started Gorillaz, which seemed like it would be a weird side project but became more commercially successful than Blur. Albarn started to feel like he could do no wrong, and began to step out with projects designed to demonstrate how diverse his talents truly were — him, the great genius of Blur — more than to be meaningful, painstakingly crafted statements.

He did a solo album with the stupid name of Everyday Robots — a good album name of 1994 maybe, moron. Before that, there was the dub-informed mish-mash of The Good, The Bad & the Queen. He’s mounted TWO stage operas. He started a band with Flea called Rocketjuice & the Moon, for fuck’s sake. Even going into all this, Blur’s output was pretty variegated, yet there are people like Damon who pay no heed to any outside influence, or sense of shame.

In Rolling Stone yesterday, Albarn — as the greatest person in the world and arbiter of organized, intoned sound — decided to pass judgment on the biggest pop stars of our day, since his was the take we were all waiting for on the subject. What does Albarn think of ‘1989’? Here’s what he had to say, as well as a translation for those who don’t speak Albarnese:

Kanye West

“I think he’s pretty unique.”

Yeah, that rap guy who just showed up on the scene seems to be going viral a bit, and is married to that woman whose family is on the telly all the time — kind of seems like he’s got his own thing going. Maybe I’ll have him to tea sometime when he’s opening for me. However, have you heard “Clint Eastwood”? It’s the best rap song, of course.

Taylor Swift

“Remarkable, but not unique.”

Did you get the subtle distinction I was trying to make there? I’m what the kids call “cryptic,” like Hemingway, or Banksy. Country music has been around for a long time — she’s the country one, yes?


“He’s not as consistent as he could be.”

What does it count for to have all the songs on your album on the charts at the same time? I mean, has Drake even written a symphony?


“Really interesting, and sometimes exhilarating.”

“Hasta I-ah-la-uego wake up with that Glock, okay though/Stash the dope inside a Winnebago in Decatur.” Here was a line I found both interesting and exhilarating, like I was there with him, out in the Eastern part of Atlanta, Georgia. Sounds a bit like a night I had with Liam Gallagher a fortnight back! Har, har!


“Well, she’s on the cover of NME, so she must be cool.”

I’m British.

Albarn went on to clarify that he’s working on a new Gorillaz record, that he wants Mike Myers to perform with Blur, and reminded us that he is working on a musical of Alice in Wonderland. File all that under “I give a fuck” — if you dare.