Blur is back like demons from the past! Blur split in 2003, putting an end to the reign of BritPop. In 2015, a delicate attempt to recompose a record from a few jams recorded between two concerts of the band in Hong Kong eventually gave birth to “The Magic Whip”. The group was supposed to perform at Wembley this year. Thus, they decided to record an album. No mistake, “The Ballad Of Darren” is far from being a revival, but rather the rebirth of a Blur, for the space of about ten tracks, a Blur that dominated the BritPop scene while BritPop was dominating the world.
Blur signs the record of the forties!
There is a lot of nostalgia in this record. At 40 or 50 years old, the crisis is never far away. In the track “Barbaric”, the band exclaims: “We have lost the feeling we thought we would never lose”. This title echoes a song by Pink Floyd in “High Hopes” from “The Division Bell”, which suggested that: “The grass is less green…” in a refrain that describes the end of carefreeness.
The bassist of the band hinted in January: “The scornful songs we wrote about the elderly when we were in our twenties are now aimed at us… I remember thinking at the time that these people know nothing. They don’t even know they’re alive!”
“The Ballad Of Darren” is like an illuminated boat swimming between two eras. While Damon Albarn enjoys success with Gorillaz, a project well adapted to current trends and very meticulous in blending genres, with “The Ballad Of Darren”, Blur is here to revive the BritPop of their twenties with the insight of their maturity. There’s a bit of nostalgia, a bit of melancholy, and a bit of politics, as in “Russian Strings” on this record, but above all, there is compassion for a band that has just closed the chapter on our forgotten youth.