“To The End” is a surprising single, being a slow-ish, orchestral piece of high-falutin’ artistry (a very good one) and about as far from “Girls & Boys” as Blur get stylistically. Also, am I supposed to capitalize the “The” in the songs’s name? Normally I know I wouldn’t, but it looks incomplete otherwise. “To the End.” I think the name doesn’t have enough big words to make up for not capitalizing one of the small ones. But anyway, it’s a great song. People who speak French might find the French lame (or not, I don’t know to what extent it’s not Engrisherrific), but I find it rather romantic and sad in context, and speaking of context, the strings are perfectly non-gratuitous and make the song as opposed to making it sappy and annoying. Plus, the melody is one of those ‘how the hell did they come up with this’ melodies that uplifts at the same time it deflates. And I’m not even sure what it’s about! But golly, it’s nice.
Speaking tangentially of “Girls & Boys,” (earlier) why the HELL are there two versions of the 7” Mix of it on here? Aaaagh! As bad as remixes are now, and they’re generally filler, they were much worse back in the 90s when all anyone knew how to do was add a generic “club” beat to the song and speed it up slightly, and maybe repeat a few lines in the chorus over and over, in case you weren’t sure which two genders Blur were talking about. It’s like the holocaust all over again, listening first to the tepid four minute version and being relieved it’s over only to realize that the seven minute version is coming.
The other two B-sides are meh too! Get it together, guys! There’s a soft song where nothing happens, and yet another silly instrumental that missed the cut for the album, this time for good reason. I know they’re B-sides, but I would’ve been sad if I’d spent my, er, “quid” on these singles, like a good Blur that I would have been, and found only one real song.
Also, here’s my plan to cope with living in an extremely old apartment with electric heat in Canada for the winter: Peak hours are 7 – 11 AM and 5 – 9 PM, while midday is “mid-peak” (aka 4/5ths the price) and 9-7 is “off-peak” (half price). So! I leave the heat in the living room on overnight, though not very high, because better then than during the day. When I get up I turn the heat off in both the living room and bedroom. The heat stays off until at least noon, hopefully more. I’m allowed to turn it on during the day if I have to, and will, but it is discouraged. When I leave the house the heat goes off. At five the heat goes off, no questions asked, until nine. Usually I both cook dinner and start drinking around seven, so it works okay. At nine the heat goes on, usually with great force, because it is cold by then. One hour before planned bedtime I turn on the heat in the bedroom. Space heater usage is allowed at night, because it’s off-peak.
Wasn’t that interesting? I’m making lentils with vegan sausage. My girlfriend makes it a lot, and I’m pretty sure hers will be far better than mine. Don’t you just hate it when that’s happening?
4 / 10