Dean Van Nguyen

Dean Van Nguyen

Music Journalist & Cultural Critic

As seen in The Irish Times, The Guardian, Pitchfork, NME, Passion of the Weiss, The Independent, Wax Poetics etc. deanvannguyen@gmail.com

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Blur article
headstuff.org

This Is A High: Blur's Self-Titled LP Turns 20

How do you define Blur? The band forged their career by stylistically swerving left and right as dueling talents Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon fought for control of the wheel. By 1997 they’d built their fortune on cheeky characters, sticky hooks, cockney voices, country houses and charmless men. It made Blur Britain’s biggest singles band but it didn’t make them happy. Relationships became strained as Britpop-era media interest pressed down on them like a hydraulic car crusher. In another universe, the group fracture, don’t make their self-titled album – which turns 20 years old today – and we’re starved of the best full-length record in their treasured discography.

Prince headstuff article
headstuff.org

A Purple Sky: The Artistry of Prince

Prince, the greatest musical artist to ever walk this planet, has passed away. The temptation when we lose such impossibly outstanding humans is to convince ourselves of their immortality. “He can never truly die.” “He’s one of those people I assumed would live forever.” But honestly, sometimes I did think about Prince’s death. I thought about it like you consider the mortality of the people you are closest to – the knowledge that you’re a quarter of century behind on your journey and likely to see the day their’s ends. Most of us never met the man, of course, but it doesn’t feel enough to live with his body of work alone. Without his presence, Earth feels that bit colder. A world once draped in a glittering purple and gold dream coat has been permanently disrobed.

Yeezyseason article
headstuff.org

Flashing Lights and Shutter Shades: Kanye West traverses the galaxy on Graduation

Curtis Jackson wept. How the burly-voiced Queens behemoth found himself in a chart battle with Kanye West is something he’ll question long after hanging up his orange headband and bulletproof vest. A dozen years after the Blur and Oasis throwdown and America finally had its own heavyweight clash: Ye’s Graduation versus 50 Cent’s Curtis. But there would be little reprieve for Jackson. The truth is he was battered, beaten and left for dead – nothing to comfort him but a bottomless Hennessey fifth and eternal ounce of dro.