Ryan Dombal
January 24, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

As Blur continue to experiment musically with varying degrees of success, their former guitarist seems content with mining touchstone influences like David Bowie and the Sex Pistols in his quest for Britpop gold. On his fifth solo album, Graham Coxon reconnects with old Blur producer Stephen Street (Parklife, The Great Escape) and goes from wispy, string-laden balladry (”Are You Ready?”) to playfully nihilistic punk rock (”Freakin’Out”) to screaming-ax white-boy blues (”Girl Done Gone”), yet never abandons his knowing, witty sense of lyricism. Without his old mates, Coxon’s Happiness in Magazines is all his own.

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