Blur "Think" Up New Album

First recording in four years due in May

"It's an album about love and politics," says Damon Albarn of Blur's seventh album, Think Tank, recorded last year in Morocco and England. The album, the band's first since 1999's 13, will be released May 6th.

One new track, "Brothers and Sisters," "starts off like John Lee Hooker and ends up like Grandmaster Flash," Albarn says. Another, "Out of Time," features a Moroccan orchestra, and will be the album's first single, due in April.

Think Tank was produced by Blur and Ben Hillier, with additional production added by Fatboy Slim (who produced two tracks, including "Crazy Beats") and William Orbit.

Two months into the sessions, founding guitarist Graham Coxon quit the band, turning Blur into a three-piece and leaving Albarn to pick up the guitar-playing slack. "There was nobody else to do it, so I had to," he says. "It was really difficult, but with that massive change came a new vitality."

Blur has also lined up their first London shows in three years. The band will take up a four-night residence at the Astoria Theater (May 8th through 10th and the 12th), with former Verve guitarist Simon Tong sitting in for Coxon.