I can't think of any other artist whom my opinion of has changed so much over time than Damon Albarn. I still don't rate Blur's early stuff and I hate them at the time. Since their eponymous album in the late 90's they produced some truly great work while Albarn himself has gone on to achieve legend status. Prolific and diverse, the mans output over the last 20 years is exceptional. This particular side project is closest to his Blur work. For me, this album is Albarn tackling themes he looked at in his youth (England and Britishness) but bringing a sharper focus and more weight to it. Its like what Blur could have been doing in the first bit of the 90's if they had had 25 years experience behind them. Of course there is more than Albarn going on here. This is a super group that does the term justice with Paul Simonon (The Clash), Simon Tong (The Verve) both bringing their sublime talents to the mix along with the African rhythm of Tony Allen. Merrie Land, Lady Boston and Ribbons are standouts but the record needs to be listened to as a whole. The Tony Visconti element cannot be overlooked either with this having very much a Bowie vibe in many ways.