Review: Blur – Fool’s Day
JORDAN BICKERTON: ‘this is a mature, engaging record, wilfully resisting the temptation of a radio-friendly cash-in.’
‘Fool’s Day’ is the first song Blur’s original line-up has released since guitarist Graham Coxon left during the recording of ‘Think Tank’ in 2003. The current vogue for reunions has produced little new material of merit (unless you are a Take That devotee, you poor lost soul) – could these Essex boys break the mould? It all depends on your perspective.
If you yearn for ‘Song 2’ part two, disappointment awaits. Indeed, ‘Fool’s Day’ dispenses with a traditional chorus altogether, replacing it with a spiralling guitar interlude. The song relies on Damon Albarn’s distinctive delivery of an insidiously memorable vocal line. The lyric “Another day on this little island” is apt, as the muted tone evokes a walk in the drizzle of the inimitable English springtime. For me though, this is a love-ode to his country of birth – his sombre voice is as comfortingly familiar as the months of damp.
Another line, “Don’t capitulate to the market forces”, captures the ethos of this release, with an exclusively vinyl run designed to support the flagging network of independent record stores. As suggested by the reference to ‘Song 2’, Blur were always an odd proposition – despite being behind a string of populist tunes, their devoted fanbase has always seemed more drawn to album tracks and rarities, which showcase the subtler side of the group’s craft. Although ‘Fool’s Day’ doesn’t necessarily improve upon past glories, this is a mature, engaging record, wilfully resisting the temptation of a radio-friendly cash-in.