Back in January 2022, Damon Albarn stirred up controversy when he claimed in an interview that Taylor Swift “doesn’t write her own songs.” Swift immediately clapped back on Twitter, saying she totally writes all her own music and calling Albarn’s comments “completely false and so damaging.” Albarn quickly realized he’d stepped in it and apologized, admitting what he said was “rude and disrespectful” and that Swift’s songwriting is “brilliant.”
The whole spat highlighted issues around gender bias in the industry. But a few months later, Albarn revealed that he and Swift had hashed things out over email and moved past the drama. Even though tensions flared briefly over songwriting credibility, the two stars were able to settle their differences amicably. So while things got heated for a hot second, they worked it out privately in the end.
Taylor’s been killing it on the tour this year, while Damon’s band Blur recently released The Ballad of Darren a return to form. Both artists have impressive musical catalogs full of hits. Let’s take a look at some of the Britpop pioneer’s best work and listen via this Damon Albarn Spotify playlist.:
– Under the Westway (Blur) – Poignant piano ballad musing on the changing landscape of London.
– Out of Time (Blur) – Melancholic reflection on lost love with lush strings.
– To the End (Blur) – Sweeping orchestral pop song with French lyrics by Albarn.
– Look Inside America (Blur) – Scathing critique of American culture set to fuzzed out guitars.
– Don’t Get Lost In Heaven (Gorillaz) – Atmospheric, melancholy album closer with choral elements.
– Hong Kong (Gorillaz) – Upbeat electronic rock ode to the vibrant Asian city.
– Stylo (Gorillaz) – High-octane road trip song featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack.
– Tranz (Gorillaz) – Psychedelic dance-punk track and call to arms for nonconformists.
– Humility (Gorillaz) – Breezy, playful funk number showcasing sunny optimism.
– Pressure Machine (The Good, the Bad and the Queen) – Somber piano ballad with vivid storytelling lyrics.
– Song 2 (Blur) – High energy punk anthem perfect for arenas.
– Tender (Blur) – Stirring love ballad built on simple yet effective production.
– Country House (Blur) – Tongue-in-cheek Britpop earworm skewering upper class.
– Beetlebum (Blur) – Hazy, druggy alt-rock standout channeling 60s psychedelia.
– Coffee & TV (Blur) – Sweetly nostalgic track with an endearing animated video.
– Parklife (Blur) – Quintessential Britpop title track celebrating eccentricities of English life.
– Girls & Boys (Blur) – Bouncy, irreverent dance floor filler about youth and nightlife.
– Clint Eastwood (Gorillaz) – Haunting trip-hop hit featuring Del Tha Funkee Homosapien.
– Feel Good Inc. (Gorillaz) – Infectious rap/rock crossover with soaring melodic chorus.
– Dare (Gorillaz) – Thumping dance-pop banger showcasing Shaun Ryder’s vocals.
– On Melancholy Hill (Gorillaz) – Blissful psychedelic pop reverie and ode to romantic escape.
– El Mañana (Gorillaz) – Cinematic ballad with lush strings and Latin influences.
– 19-2000 (Gorillaz) – Nostalgic bop powered by fuzzed out bass and casual flow.
– Tomorrow Comes Today (Gorillaz) – Melancholic acoustic intro track musing on uncertainty.
– Everyday Robots (Damon Albarn solo) – Sparse, introspective reflection on isolation in technology age.
– The Good, the Bad and the Queen (The Good, the Bad and the Queen) – Brooding opener introducing the album’s cryptic concept.
– Herculean (The Good, the Bad and the Queen) – Sweeping and grandiose progressive rock epic.
– The Universal (Gorillaz) – Atmospheric synth-driven ode to the promise and peril of technology, featuring distinctive vocals from Damon Albarn.
– Dirty Harry (Gorillaz) – Innovative hip-hop track with choir elements and hard-hitting lyrics by Bootie Brown about war and greed.
In the last year, he’s released music with Gorillaz and now the Blur. I’ve included The Narcissist and Tormenta in the Damon Arbarn songs to the Damon Albarn Spotify Playlist.
With decades of acclaimed songs that blend Britpop, alternative hip-hop, art rock and more, Damon Albarn remains one of the most accomplished songwriters of his generation. His creative output certainly measures up to Taylor Swift’s, regardless of their past differences. Both artists have undeniably left their mark through musical innovation and earworm melodies.