The Good, the Bad & the Queen - Merrie Land
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2018 Ratings: #330 / 794
User Score
Based on 156 ratings
2018 Ratings: #496
Liked by 1 person
November 16, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Studio 13 / Label
Art Rock / Genres
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God Is in the TV

The music and words of Merrie Land hit so many targets, and with such precision, by turns grotesque and horribly emotionally exposed, that it’s never less than utterly compelling.

Consequence of Sound

It works best as a complete dose of bitter medicine; a groove-happy message of fear, love, and measured hope.

The Line of Best Fit

Damon Albarn really knows when to pick his moments – but he’s outdone himself with this new record.


Albarn on Britain is a proven formula, but Simonon, Allen and Simon Tong combine to craft curious twenty-first century folk about curious twenty-first century folk.

Loud and Quiet

As a mirror held up to the country at a time of crisis by one of its sharpest observers ... it’s a record of note, full of intrigue, intimacy and calmly assertive, greatly needed dissent.

The Independent

For all its gloom, Merrie Land is an entertaining and theatrical album, with vocals that capture the social observation of early album Parklife. It’s also an immensely clever feat of word painting, never relying on lyrics alone to reflect the sense of anxiety.

Drowned in Sound

Rich and accomplished; beautifully played and immaculately conceptualised, Albarn’s latest trip from FitzRoy to Faeroes and back, via Dogger and Dover, is a drizzle-soaked deep-dive into a fractured land and fractured people.


Merrie Land feels like the perfect soundtrack for these uncertain, worrying times.


Ruminations on a post-Brexit nation from a bunch of middle-aged musicians is, perhaps, less essential than it seems to deem itself, but there are probing thoughts and moments to make it worth sticking with.

The album is cinematic and somewhat ghastly, all in a timeless fashion. The instrumentation plays to the strengths of Damon Albarn. Why can't Gorillaz sound this consistent?
“Merrie Land” is like riding an abandoned ferris wheel with the ghost of Damon Albarn and his dummy telling tales of the past. The writing and the instrumentation work extremely well together to create a very melancholic atmosphere for us to delve into, making for an eerie listening experience. This is also some of Albarn’s best work in a while!

Fav Tracks: Merrie Land, The Poison Tree, The Truce of Twilight, Nineteen Seventeen, The Last Man to Leave, Gun to the Head, ... read more
Fav Tracks: Gun to the Head, Ribbons, Merrie Land, The Truce of Twilight, Nineteen Seventeen, Lady Boston, The Great Fire

Least Fav Track: Drifters and Trawlers

(edit) Holy shit I just found out that Tony Visconti produced this! That must be why it sounds so great.
This album gives off a very eerie vibe from the get-go. It's very soft sounding but carries and unsettling emotion. This album is like being at a haunted carnival with all of the wierd instumentation on tracks like Lady Boston or Last Man To Leave. Some of the tracks seem to blend in with each other and not stand out too much but others are incredibly different from anything else. Some of my favourite moments on this album are where it starts to go in different, weird directions. Some examples ... read more
my god this is so boring.
I think Damon sounds good enough for the most part, but boy does the instrumental bring it down. It sounds so cheap and plasticy, as if the instruments all came from a dollar store.
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Year End Lists

#47/Q Magazine
#51/Louder Than War
#62/Under the Radar

Track List

  1. Introduction
  2. Merrie Land
  3. Gun to the Head
  4. Nineteen Seventeen
  5. The Great Fire
  6. Lady Boston
  7. Drifters & Trawlers
  8. The Truce of Twilight
  9. Ribbons
  10. The Last Man to Leave
  11. The Poison Tree
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Added on: October 19, 2018