Confeshun time! I don’t actually own these singles, I’m just reviewing them from the “10th Anniversary Box Set,” which features twenty-three singles with all of their B-sides intact (except for “No Distance Left To Run” which has only one B-side for some reason and I’ll review separately if I find either copy of the real single). I don’t want to review a 23-disc box as one unit because it spreads its joy across many ages, but mainly because these singles weren’t intended as one giant release. Granted, most of them are filled out with, well, filler, but I like singles and I like the spirit in which they’re released ($$$ for rare songs!) and I will try to give Blur (a band who always tried harder on the B-side that the average band) and their singles a modicum of respect.
So! “She’s So High” is terrible! I can’t believe they thought it would make a good first single! Here are the good things about it:
1.A cool fade-in.
And here are the bad things about it:
1.A slow beat that never even tries to get going and so sounds like early Smashing Pumpkins.
2.A mediocre guitar riff that repeats over and over and over forever.
3.A plinkity-plinkity keyboard that I don’t want in my ear and comes across as needlessly silly and mood-ruining.
4.A chorus that consists of “She’s so high / She’s so high / she’s so high I want to crawl all over her.”
5.A combined three lines of lyrics in the verses. In other words, they’re placeholders repeated over and over to justify playing more of the unremarkable music.
6.A “solo” comprised of slow backwards note buried WAY under the main riff so unless you listen closely it sounds like they’re just playing the main riff over and over and calling it a solo.
7.It’s edited by fifty seconds for the single, and whatever fifth of the song they cut was so unnecessary that I couldn’t tell where it was. It certainly wasn’t any of the complex wordplay.
I should point out that I don’t HATE “She’s So High,” I’m just grouchy this morning, and I can’t believe any record exec thought it made a good first single for a struggling band. They also made it track one on the album, fully hitching their crapwagon to the SSH train.
“I Know – a catchy number that would have made one of the better songs on “Leisure.” The baseline actually carries part of the song, the guitar riff is of the neat “how’d they make THAT sound” variety without being an uncatchy novelty, and the soft keyboards make everything a little nicer. Yeah, no reason this one didn’t make it. Still even though this is a good track, it sounds like they were just fitting pieces together instead of making songs. Here’s a riff, some keyboards would work here, add some words that fit the beat, and let’s record.
“Down” – a boring song that fades into the background before long. I know there’s a lot of aimless distorted guitar and the chorus consists of the song title twenty thousand times.
“Sing” – the best song on “Leisure,” which is a shame because it was on the album, kids! It also sounds nothing like the album. It’s a great song, but why? Is it because it wasn’t on the American version of “Leisure?” And why in hell did THIS song get cut from the album? It’s the only interesting one! AAAH! Record companies are stupid! Not that any American wanted to buy that silly album anyway. This song’s also on the Trainspotting soundtrack, finally getting the exposure it deserves thanks to a movie that postered up a million dorm walls while having its message completely forgotten. I hate teenaged boys.
“I Know (Extended)” – Yep, this was necessary! But it’s true, the fans were clamoring for a seven minute version of this above-average non-album track. I salute Blur for giving it to them.
So yeah, this is okay. One edited version of a bad single, one good B-side, one bad B-side, one album track, and one extended version of said good B-side. I don’t understand, seeing as the later singles from this album contained far more content, but at least it’s fun to think about the early 90s. The Blue Jays won world series’, mom and dad hated each other, and I was soon to receive a Super Nintendo. I also refused to cut my hair, because everyone told me boys had to have short hair, so I insisted on having long hair until I was, like, twelve, and somewhere across an ocean I wouldn’t cross until I was twenty-five a record company exec was thinking “the problem with this album is that it has that downer ‘Sing’ on it.” Dark times.
5 / 10