Monday 6 October 2008

Blur's weary, deadpan examination of America

Blur's self-titled 1997 album is probably the band's most interesting ... A good bit less Britpop irony; a good bit more Coxon-fuelled, alt-American-influenced guitarwork.

Today's song of the day, though, is one of the album's least experimental. But lyrically and melodically strong – and, of course, topical:

Okay, so Damon Albarn is singing from the perspective of a weary touring musician – but these lyrics could easily enough apply to a credit crunched banker, could they not?

Good things about this song:
  • A great lead guitar entry at around 0.24
  • The fact that the string lines (which could in another manifestation be cheesy) are justified by the lyrics' talk of radio shows, tv ads and cinema classics, and is nicely lo-fi and weary
  • Likewise the rather delightful harp cameo in the middle-8: another piece of superficially elaborate and flamboyant instrumentation incorporated skillfully into a downbeat, disillusioned ballad in such a way as to sound as gaudily insubstantial as neon-lit facades and back-to-back chatshows ...

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