Song of the Week delves into the new songs we just can’t get out of our heads. Find these tracks and more in our Spotify Top Songs playlist, and for our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Blur shows no signs of rust on “The Narcissist.”
The last time we heard from Britpop Legends Blur was in 2015. The band had just made their long-awaited comeback with The magic whip, their first record in 12 years, were showcasing the contemplative and increasingly whimsical vision of Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and the artful pop-rock of Dave Rowntree. Now, with nearly another decade lost to time, the band is at it again, doubling down on self-confidence and “narcissistic” contemplation.
Gone are the sneaky blasts of “Song 2” or the disco grooves of “Girls and Boys” that took them to the top of the ’90s charts. Instead, “The Narcissist” seamlessly picks up where her previous two LPs left off – an impressive feat considering Thought Center She celebrated her 20th birthday earlier this month.
Melody is an epic that takes shape but never collapses. Albarn guides the listener through a soundscape of stand-alone guitars, harmonious backing vocals, and a mix of programmed and live drums, and every time you think they’re about to hit the fluff and let it explode, fall back, showcasing the maturity that comes with decades of songwriting.
Time will tell if the rest of Blur’s next record, Darren’s song, you will continue to embrace such restrictive songs, or if the “narcissist” is just a redhead. But for now, Blur has proven once again that no matter how long they take between releases, their songs don’t falter one bit.
– Jonah Kruger
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Honeymoon in the Seas – “The Cockroach”
Sailor Honeymoon’s “Cockroach” is one of the most exciting, fully realized indie rock songs ever released at a good time. Just two minutes into the change, the song oscillates between a fuzzy chorus, a melody, and a sparse spoken-word verse. The result is a tune worth repeating until it is served next. —JK