Track Of The Week Majesty Crush ‘Cicciolina’
Introducing Interview: Gas Kunst
Whilst fires of discord continue to rage from certain quarters of Manchester’s Oasis, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree aka blur unexpectedly returned with a new album The Ballad Of Darren released via Parlophone Records on 21st July.
The word ballad fits the bill quite well, apart from a couple of charged numbers the majority of the music found here could easily share glitterballs and dance hall spaces whilst couples held hands and foxtrotted aiming for straight 10’s.
Opening with the track Ballad we dive straight into a Bowie-esque serenade, atmospheric harmonies enhanced these days by Rowntree, there are slights hints of Gorillaz To Binge, ‘I fell in love with you ‘, charms Albarn, there appears to be plenty of affection on the album. The straight to the point message of St. Charles Square however shifts away from the charm for a moment ‘I f*cked up’ is followed by razor-edged guitars, the sort of thing Magic Whip had plenty of.
Barbaric has Clover Over Dover charisma with a punk Wire backing; Russian Strings sounds like a call to an absent friend ‘where are you now? Are you coming back?’ encased with big strings and eternal harmonies; The Everglades begins with brittle acoustic guitar before giving way to yet more expansive orchestration; Goodbye Albert is the best of 80’s Pet Shop Boys; Far Away Island acquires similar qualities to The Beatles She’s Leaving Home; Avalon distinctly like a prime Tame Impala psychedelic burst with the final hurrah The Heights retains pastoral elements, further orchestrated enlightenments before a mad 30odd seconds has what sounds like a room full of cacophony.
When The Narcissist was released many might have expected an album full of guitar pop delights, the reality is a an educated album of wisdom, engrossing musical scores with plenty of depth of lyricism to keep the Inspector Morse type fans amused. A return to form for these Essex scamps.
The Ballad Of Darren can be ordered via the following link Blur – Official Website