AFTER more than a decade of being the awkward, angular musical counterpoint that made Blur's overly-smug Britpop formula palatable, restless guitarist Graham Coxon has finally departed the band for good, amid much bad feeling.

Not surprising then that the latest of his introspective, lo-fi solo records, on his own label, is his most emotionally revealing, digging deep into sludgy blues, country and folk influences alongside his usual avant-garde punk leanings.

Though as ever, the spectre of cult U.S. slacker pop outfit Pavement hangs heavy over his random song structures and occasional bursts of noise, and some tracks could be demos from Blur's later, arty albums, there's a sprinkling of almost painfully direct, 60s-tinged acoustic ballads, such as opener Bitter Tears, while Live Line is possibly the only song ever written about contemplating suicide on the Tube.

It's morose, funny, wilful and honest, and sounds like he genuinely doesn't care if only he and his mum buy a copy of it. Which would be a shame, as it's his best solo record to date.

Updated: 10:24 Thursday, October 31, 2002