Very disappointing, especially for a first single. Make no mistake about your twats, “Girls & Boys” is a great song, and maybe you DO want a version of it shortened by forty seconds (the differences are hard to notice, meaning the editor did a good job!), but unless you’re dying for it that’s on the album.
All that’s here are a mediocre guitar-driven song that’s exceptionally unmemorable, a short instrumental (“Anniversary Waltz”) that must have just barely missed the cut for being one of the album’s silly instrumentals (screaming “damn you, ‘Lot 105’ and ‘The Debt Collector’ all the way to the B-side), there’s a disco song very much like the title track in beat but with the verses in various languages and nothing else noteworthy going on – it really may have been a demo – and another unmemorable pop song, this one sounding like a bad impression of David Bowie, which is new for Blur. Not great, even if it is called “Peter Panic,” and could therefore hang out with my friends Julius Seizure and Cliche Guevara any time it feels like developing a personality besides being somewhat dour.
I’m figuring that it’s lackluster because they didn’t fill the album out with bad songs (“Clover Over Dover” and “Trouble at the Message Center,” for instance, are fab), but it’s sad when the best a fan would get from buying two copies of the single is a minute twenty-four long waltz snippet that sounds like “Town of Magic” music from a Final Fantasy game.