Dr Dee is a newly released album of music for Dr Dee: An English Opera

Dr Dee is a newly released album of music by Damon Albarn for Dr Dee: An English Opera and is reviewed at “Damon Albarn: Dr Dee – review“. I posted about Dr Dee: An English Opera last year at “Dr Dee: An English Opera on July 1st-9th at Palace Theatre, Manchester UK” but missed that the music had been released. Anyhow, Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn both get hat tips.

“Any casual fans wondering what that Gorillaz singer Damon Albarn has been up to since the graphic outfit split last year will probably not find this album the most germane of listens. When you stick the Dr Dee CD into your computer, iTunes laughably categorises it as indie rock. It really isn’t.

First staged at Manchester’s international festival last year, Dr Dee is an operatic work that revisits John Dee, a renaissance man of the Elizabethan era. His expertise in mathematics and astronomy earned him the ear of Elizabeth I, but his thirst for occult knowledge led to his downfall. A more evolved version of the opera is due this summer, as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

This is also Albarn’s first solo album proper (not counting the demo collection, Democrazy, from 2003), and Dr Dee finds the occasional Blur singer at his most heterogeneous: refracting folk and early church music through the African influences he has been steeped in since 2002’s Mali Music. The album opens with running water, Devonian birdsong and an organ-heavy track called ‘The Golden Dawn’, a reference to the magickal society probably best known to rock fans as the playground of Aleister Crowley.” [via]