BLUR

(UNITED KINGDOM)

THE BALLAD OF DARREN

(2023)
LABEL:

WARNER

GENRE:

POP

TAGS:
"After an eight-year silence, Blur is back to rock us with "The Ballad Of Darren", a contemplative album ideal for moments of relaxation."
TORPEDO (06.02.2024)  
4/5
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)
Being a Blur fan requires a certain amount of patience, as the two previous albums by the band led by Damon Albam (Gorillaz) date back to 2015 and 2003. "The Ballad of Darren" is therefore an event for fans of this band who, as a reminder, moved away from Britpop in the early 2000s towards a more experimental and introspective sound. Written entirely by the band's charismatic singer during Gorillaz's American tour, the album was quickly recorded in a state of euphoria, with the band members delighted to be able to play together again on original material.

Those whose knowledge of Blur stopped at 'Song2' or 'Girls & Boys' will obviously be very surprised by the content of this new opus. Initial contact is not particularly enthusiastic, with 10 melancholy-infused songs, the vast majority of which move at a fairly slow tempo. However, as the listening progresses, a few tracks quickly stand out. 'The Narcissist' is the first, a little faster, rather playful, with its naive yet endearing backing vocals. It's closely followed by 'Barbaric', again featuring languorous backing vocals, a bouncy bass, a few synthetic sounds and beautiful, smile-inducing harmonies - all elements that Blur uses and abuses to draw us into its cozy, cottony world.

You'd almost forget the little flaws that litter "The Ballad Of Darren", notably the nonchalant vocals that sometimes seem to be off-key - an inalienable Blur trademark, however - the dissonant 'St Charles Square', which is a little incongruous, the noisy last minute of 'The Heights', which somewhat spoils the quietude of the whole, and those few tracks at the end of the album that are a little weaker.

Like Blur's previous albums, "The Ballad Of Darren" differs from what the band has offered before, without totally changing its identity. Melancholic without being depressive, the songs form a coherent whole that leads peacefully to reverie and contemplation. An ideal album for moments of relaxation.
- Official website

Did you know?

Darren is not the former love of one of the members of Blur, but the band's head of security, Darren 'Smoggy' Evans.

The album cover is by Martin Parr and shows a lone man swimming in a Scottish pool parallel to the sea, while the sky is saturated with ominous black clouds, a testament to Scottish eccentricity.

TRACK LISTING:
01. The Ballad
02. St. Charles Square
03. Barbaric
04. Russian Strings
05. The Everglades (For Leonard)
06. The Narcissist
07. Goodbye Albert
08. Far Away Island
09. Avalon
10. The Heights

LINEUP:
Alex James: Basse
Damon Albarn: Chant / Claviers
Dave Rowntree: Batterie
Graham Coxon: Guitares
   
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CRIMSON MOJITO
06/02/2024
 
22
1
Très bon album, un peu court mais très agréable !
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