Damon Albarn Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness
Damon Albarn has been celebrated as a musical genius and a rock ’n’ roll auteur. He’s also been shrugged off as a dilettante, a genre day-tripper who gobbles up various musical styles to serve his own art-pop ego. Whatever he is, Albarn is prolific, averaging an album a year since arriving in 1991. We’re counting them down as we rank the British rock star’s albums in order of awesomeness.
Although he has recorded 25 albums, only two of them have been credited solely to him. That’s because Albarn is a master of collaboration – the composer’s equivalent to an extrovert that thrives on interaction with musicians from myriad backgrounds. He’s been a member of a clever and buzzy rock band (Blur), a genre-defying cartoon group (Gorillaz) and fusion supergroups that have a weakness for ampersands (the Good, the Bad & the Queen, Rocket Juice & the Moon). He’s collaborated with musicians, writers and visual artists on soundtracks, musicals and operas. He’s gone to China and Africa (repeatedly) not only to explore his own curiosity about music that is foreign to him, but also as a means of bringing those sounds to unfamiliar ears.
After becoming one of the most talented and insightful pop songwriters to ever capture Britain in a song, Damon has become an ambassador for styles of music. In his career as a singer, songwriter, composer and musician, he’s found ways to integrate a diverse array of sounds into something relatable to the pop music connoisseur. Not all of the projects have succeeded, but as Albarn has grown and matured, he’s built a legacy as a leader, a conceptualist, a hitmaker and a visionary.
In honor of the breath, variety and overlying quality of his work, we’re taking a look at Albarn’s recorded history, with some stipulations. We’re focusing on full-length studio releases in which he served as a band member or prime creative force – no EPs, unreleased soundtracks or records that he merely produced. Let’s go “To the End” (at least so far) with Albarn’s albums.