Dr Dee

Dr Dee

As the frontman for Blur and Gorillaz, Damon Albarn is plenty busy. Yet he's also put out the album Rocket Juice & the Moon with Afro-funk legend Tony Allen and this soundtrack to a Rufus Norris opera that debuted in England in 2011. Dr Dee is about John Dee, a 16th-century mathematician/sorcerer who served under Queen Elizabeth I. Albarn's creativity has been eclectic and adventurous, and nowhere more so than on this unusual collection, where opera singers, acoustic instrumentation, woodwinds, strings, and even a devilish sense of cartoon music creeps in. "Temptation Comes in the Afternoon" is a jocular piece that's part Hanna-Barbera. "Watching the Fire That Waltzed Away" furthers the sense of a world spinning out of control with its pulsing operatic menace. It's a difficult listen, with a few moments of conventional beauty ("Cathedrals," "Apple Carts") amid plenty of surprises and high-art dreams.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada