Song of the Week: “What’s He Got?” by Graham Coxon

Song of the Week: “What’s He Got?” by Graham Coxon

Love Travels at Illegal Speeds

I’m a come clean: I think Graham Coxon is quite possibly the best guitarist of the post-dinosaur-rock age. Granted, that’s an age I just created and it’s possibly meaningless. But the thing about Coxon is that he is an ideal embodiment of jaw-dopping ability and inventiveness with a cheekily unabashed love of pop (classic definition) so that what he does is always part of the music.  He’s no guitar hero, but his playing is heroic.  My favorite example is the disposable pop of Blur’s “Girls and Boys.” A potentially idiotic song – even with its snarky tone – yet his simple, jarring guitar riff makes the thing impossible to resist. They key thing is that he’s a songwriter. Just so happens he’s also a great player. Melody rules his playing, even when he’s just cranking feedback through a flanger.

Coxon left Blur in the early aughts but he had already begun churning out charming solo records by that point.  I loved his 2004 release Happiness in Magazines and finally recently picked up 2006’s Love Travels at Illegal Speeds. It’s a great set of tidy garage rock. I’ve had a hard time picking a favorite track for this post but I’m gonna go with “What’s He Got?” because it’s a real rock and roll song. Ever so rare these days. Check it out, and really, I say go for the whole record. Great stuff. I’m looking forward to his mellower A + E album, out in a couple months.

Love Travels At Illegal Speeds