THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE QUEEN – ‘Merrie Land’ – CD

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Damon Albarn’s eclectic supergroup confront national myths on an ambitious album of Brexit-era Anglicana, after an 11-year hiatus.
Conceived as a kind of pilgrim’s progress around the UK, taking in Blackpool and Banbury, Penrhyn and ancient Dorset, Albarn has put together a series of moodboards that contrast myth with reality, unfurling vignettes out of time and impressionistic collages of ills. There’s a lushness in these tracks — songs that mesh together the Music Hall and pure-pop past of England with the steady injection of music from Africa, the Caribbean, and South America brought over by its immigrant population — that is enveloping and welcoming.