Graham Coxon - The Kiss of Morning

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2004-10-01

The Kiss Of Morning, the fourth solo album from Graham Coxon, might just prove an unexpected landmark in the Blur guitarist's career. Previous efforts have proven a convenient outlet for the troubled guitarist to vent frustrations that inevitably arise from being a key cog in one of the biggest British rock bands of the last 10 years. But if the rumours that he's left Blur for good are to be believed, The Kiss Of Morning sees Coxon finally striking out on his own with no comfy motherband to fall back on. Is it great? Well, it's definitely solid: the misconception that all Coxon wants to do is smother everything in feedback is given the lie by the gorgeous "Mountain of Regret", a sleepy country-rock number with a guesting BJ Cole on pedal steel, while fragile folksy strums like "Bitter Tears" and "Baby You're Out of Your Mind" prove perfect vehicles for Graham's shivery, insecure vocals. "Song For The Sick" is a startlingly bileful rant against some bloke called Taylor, where Coxon spits "You ain't no friend of mine / You're a scum-sucking shitty guy" in a feverish rage. But ultimately, this album's strength is its diversity: flitting between moments of warm pathos and awkward rage, it's a well-judged mix of Coxon's ever-changing moods. If The Kiss of Morning is the sound of life after Blur, he's certainly going the right way about it. --Louis Pattison

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