Blur – End of a Century

he last of the quartet of grrrrraterrible singles from Porklife, this may be my favourite of all, just for being such a gosh darned well constructed sad little song. The chorus is worth quoting in its entirety: “We all say ‘don’t want to be alone’ / We wear the same clothes ’cause we feel the same / And kiss with dry lips when we say goodnight / End of a century oh / It’s nothing special.” Great, huh? And musically it’s put together like a New Pornographers tracks – hooks all over the place. It’s also impeccably produced, allowing every instrument the proper space and oomph, even the backup vocals sound great, but listen to all the little hooks hidden everywhere – the brief bridge, the guitar riff that plays behind the chorus that carries the song’s ending. What’s most impressive is that the end of the millenium as a backdrop from everything being dry lips and bad TV is sadder in retrospect, seeing how we’ve only done more of the same in the ten years since, then it did before when it seemed like there was a chance it would somehow galvanize humanity. Or I guess the point of the same is partly that we all knew it wouldn’t. Anyway.

This time there’s only two B-sides, one’s a generally amusing, catching, pretentious song critical of Americans in general and rednecks in particular. It’s oh so easy to see why some thought Blur were posh, elitist limey bastards, but they have a point! Though people who don’t think “Miller’s Coors Light” is a beer have more of a right to criticize America. Y’know?

The second, “Alex’s Song,” I imagine referring to the bassist Alex James and not either of my friends named Alex, is a could-be sad acoustic guitar song ruined completely by speeding up then drawing out the vocals, so they sound like a distorted Alvin and the Chipmunks record, with more distortion. Maybe Alex was insecure about singing or something! It’s a shame and a piss-off because I really would have liked the song as it was. Thanks for ruining it, Blurry.

And that’s all!

6 / 10


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