Love Travels at Illegal Speeds

Studio Album by released in 2006
Love Travels at Illegal Speeds's tracklist:
Standing on My Own Again
I Can't Look at Your Skin
Don't Let Your Man Know
Just a State of Mind
You & I
Gimme Some Love
I Don't Wanna Go Out
Don't Believe Anything I Say
Tell It Like It Is
Flights to the Sea (Lovely Rain)
What's He Got?
You Always Let Me Down
See a Better Day

Love Travels at Illegal Speeds review

Graham Coxon says his sixth solo record is his best so far

As the chief guitarist of Blur, Graham Coxon’s sheer and jointed guitar riffs made him a distinctive piece in leading the four-piece into alternative creative outlets, not to be overshadowed by the popular hysteria painted by the press. Noticeably, Blur went from cockney rebels to experimental intellects throughout their growing roster of material during the mid- to late '90s. Still Graham Coxon wanted to steer into another musical invention. Expectations and personal wishes led him to throw his energy into a solo career. It was a side project of sorts, a loophole for Coxon to streamline his own ideas his own way… From the moment the glorious opening track Standing On My Own Again lets rip with its almighty guitar hook, you understand why Graham Coxon says his sixth solo record, Love Travels At Illegal Speeds, is his best so far. He left Blur nearly four years ago – this album very loudly says he has no regrets, despite Damon Albarn making it clear he'd love to have him back. Coxon's peerlessly inventive guitar playing, acknowledged by peers including Radiohead and Albarn to be among the best of his generation, is matched by the gifted musician's McCartney-style way of adapting his skills to other instruments including flugel horns, flutes, harmonicas and Hammond organs.

Love Travels At Illegal Speeds is essentially a love album

Love Travels At Illegal Speeds is the guitarist's most personal and accomplished release to date. Reunited with producer Stephen Street – the man behind the controls for Blur's finest albums and before that with The Smiths and recently on Kaiser Chiefs' Employment – Coxon has come up with an album full of raw guitar licks, killer hooks and heartfelt lyrics. When all the brash exterior is stripped away, Love Travels At Illegal Speeds is essentially a love album, which sees Coxon bravely dig up old break-ups and tales of lost sweethearts. The results are remarkably touching. Fantastically taut first cut Standing On My Own Again pits a virtuoso Telecaster work-out against a down-but-not-out melody and lots of pissed-off extended vowels. There's a sexually-thwarted fidgetiness everywhere - a shagging-on-the-beach theme raises its head in both the brilliant Don't Let Your Man Know, and Flights To The Sea (Lovely Rain). A yelping, frothing-at-the-mouth paranoia, meanwhile, colors I Don't Wanna Go Out and You Always Let Me Down. Most fun of all is What's He Got? a hugely likeable and peppy slice of '60s-inpired girlfriend-coveting with such a wide, classic feel it puts to rest any niggling doubts Coxon might be little more than a screwed-up whiner who needs to get laid. Don't Believe Anything I Say and Tell It Like It Is are two of the catchiest tracks Coxon has released so far and Gimme Some Love is a two-and-a-half minute roller-coaster ride of noise.

Addictive guitar riffs, likable melodies and a perceptive insight

This is the album that, while not likely to win any prizes for Gorillaz-style innovation, will resonate, both musically and lyrically, with fans young rather than old. It may be Blur's lead singer's 'project' that's got the grown-up broadsheet critics gushing and the Grammys rolling in, but it's their ex-guitarist who still, in the eyes (and hearts) of the kids, is alright. And that, frankly, matters much, much more. Love Travels At Illegal Speeds is a very honest record that is, by turns, shy, strident, effervescent, romantic, fun, funny, sad, charming, often upbeat on the surface yet sometimes confused at its heart, and as such is one that perfectly represents its creator. Addictive guitar riffs, likable melodies and a perceptive insight make this an accomplished work that deserves to do well. In the end, Coxon has proved more than ever that he does not need his ex-bandmates to produce top-drawer music. And make no mistake about it – Love Travels At Illegal Speeds is very much top-drawer. At this point it's hard to say if Coxon feels he's found his niche, or if Love Travels At Illegal Speeds is just another step on the road in his solo progression. In the meantime, it's nice to see he’s lightened up and he's kicked out some great rocking tunes to liven up the discos this spring.

Rate review4.36
Total votes - 11

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