Now, it’s fair to say that ANBAD is a little eager to criticise Alex James’ burgeoning cheese empire. But last night, whilst twanging his bass with Blur, he reminded even this jaded pop observer (pop-server?) that he was – is – part of something magical: a band who can pull out all the stops and wow the world.
Which is what happened last night, when Blur played Caramel for the first time, and melted hearts everywhere like, well, caramel. You can listen to it here. Prepare for tugging of heartstrings.
Today, in celebration, Alex pours Caramel, not cheese.
So much for decade-old music. Here’s some new stuff:
FIRST! Go on, say something about Father Sculptor without mentioning the Smiths. How about: “this song – Frances – is as delightfully theatrical and honest as you could possibly hope for in this earnest ear of poseurs?” It swoops and soars with pain and yearning and feels no shame in doing so. Yikes.
SECOND! Trails and Ways embrace complexity and simplicity all at once. Skittering and relentlessly bright, Mtn Tune is sly and beautiful.
THIRD! Could it get any more lo-fi than The Azeotropes‘ Live Up To The Hype, a song that uses Big Black’s drum-machine-‘n’-fuzzbox template and then throws in pop chops for a fully confusing, gleefully insolent and fun climax.
FOURTH! What’s that? You want to finish the Mixtape with Estonian electro-pop? Well why not? Iiris is heavy and lite all at once.