Damn Albarn's new challenge to himself is the 2012 opera Dr Dee which follows the life of misunderstood mathematician John Dee, known for dabbling in the occult, as well as being a scientific advisor to Elizabeth I. Albarn cleverly makes use of Elizabethan period instruments, including a lute, cathedral organ, harphiscord, viola & crumhorn, while throwing in some kora & Nigerian percussion for good measure. The mood of the opera is a solemn one, focusing mainly on the troubled times of Dee's life, making for a strange and surreal listen. Oddly enough, Albarn's narrative is extremely difficult to follow (if there is any at all) which hurts the experience quite a bit but remains an interesting and impressive one at best.
3 solo albums? out of 5