At a gig in Hong Kong this week, Damon Albarn strongly suggested that Blur were planning on releasing a new album (watch below).
We were supposed to be playing in Japan next week but due to unforeseen circumstances we were unable to go there…so we have a week in Hong Kong and we thought it would be a good time to try and record another record
Jubilate? As far as reformed bands go, Blur’s output and general vibe has more than passed muster. 2012 single ‘Under the Westway’ and ‘The Puritan’ were excellent and their live performances show a band still in their prime. That’s the thing with Blur: while other bands getting back together can be unwelcome, Damon & co. get away with it. While others – Stone Roses, New Order, Sex Pistols, East 17 – seem like dated has-beens desperate for cash, Blur are still creating music that sounds current. From Albarn working with The Child Of Lov, Bobby Womack, and loads more, to Graham Coxon’s brilliant latest album ‘A+E’ and top-class solo output, this is a band that’s still relevant. But what do you want their new album to sound like? NME writers kick things off:
As someone who will spend many a balmy evening this summer sinking into the carpet while revisiting my favourite Blur record – ’13’ – probably with the aid of some dreadful incense bought from my local Camden Market, I am hoping for ‘Trimm Trabb’ pt 2 or ‘Caramel’: Redux. Hopefully it doesn’t say too much about me that my most prized Blur tracks are the moody, brooding ones.
Recording an album in one week in Hong Kong? Sounds tough. Unless Damon and Graham go full-on midlife crisis, spend five-days on a bender at the Bottoms Up club from The Man With The Golden Gun and then hole up in their hotel room to create a broken, claustrophobic masterpiece loosely based on the decline of Western capitalism and the inexorable rise of Chinese power. Dave beats put the rhythm on an upturned bin. Alex blows air across the top of discarded champagne bottles. They call it Blurt.
No doubt the majority of Blur’s ‘comeback’ shows over the past couple of years have been a triumph. While the sound was so quiet you could talk over the top of their set at Hyde Park last summer, it was still fun to spill a few ciders to ‘Girls & Boys’ and ‘Parklife’. But, that’s nowhere near where the band are now. It was the more fragile moments like ‘Tender’, ‘This Is A Low’ and, ‘Under The Westway’, which really touched a collective nerve. Maybe, a more introspective record from Blur wouldn’t be a bad thing?
Blur are really good at subverting the stereotypes that surround them (‘Girls and Boys’, ‘Song 2’) so I say they need to embrace the comedy potential within Alex James and run with it. He used to be a walking jawline and fringe, surrounded by girls and drugs wherever he went but now James is best known for being mates with Jeremy Clarkson and making cheese. I mean, the man literally lives in a big house in the country. Together Blur need to arch their eyebrows in the direction of the world of artisan breads and millionaire playboys and make the ultimate tongue in cheek upper-middle class anthem. Who knows, maybe the irony free Tories will adopt it as their new campaign tune.
It’s time to grow up. No more songs for Damon to jump around like a 21-year-old too. No more silly lyrics. Just a whole load of Under The Westway style dignity. They need to put growing old gracefully into action.
What do you want? Let us know in the comment box below