In a press release, the songwriter described the album as "strange pastoral folk." What does this mean? Well, the record reportedly "combines Albarn's voice with early English choral and instrumentation alongside modern, West African and Renaissance sounds."
The 18 songs were recorded with help from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Sessions took place at the Blur/Gorillaz mastermind's own studio in London and in Salford, and the album was mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson. Watch a trailer for the record at the bottom of the page.
If you remember, Dr. Dee was Albarn's opera about Elizabethan alchemist/magician John Dee. He originally planned to do the project with graphic novelist Alan Moore, who eventually dropped out of the project and left Albarn to finish it himself.
As for the opera itself, it was co-commissioned by the London 2012 Festival, so it will naturally be performed at the city's Cultural Olympiad celebrations this summer. See the dates here.
1. The Golden Dawn 2. Apple Carts 3. Oh Spirit Animate Us 4. The Moon Exalted 5. A Man of England 6. Saturn 7. Coronation 8. The Marvelous Dream 9. A Prayer 10. Edward Kelley 11. Preparation 12. 9 point Star 13. Temptation Comes in the Afternoon 14. Watching the Fire That Waltzed Away 15. Moon (Interlude) 16. Cathedrals 17. Tree of Life 18. The Dancing King