Review of Under the Westway by Blur
First off, time to reveal my bias. I love Blur, so this may not be the most impartial review of the new tracks from Blur. I have loved them since first hearing ‘Parklife’ and that geezer from Eastenders talking about “feeding the sparras and sometimes I feel the pigeons too” not forgetting “its not about you joggers that go round and round and round…”
At the time they were involved in a bit of a media fuelled fued with the Gallagher brothers or Oasis, often compared to Oasis being considered the Beatles whilst Blur were the Monkees. Yes, the first couple of Blur tracks were fun, but even the likes of ‘Parklife’ and ‘Country House’ were musically put together very well.
Add to that the likes of ‘Song 2′ and the early days were wonderous from Blur. For me, they have never had a weak point. Damon Albarn has proved what an absolute genius he is with his various projects, not least The Gorrilaz. But Blur are back. Yes they are in the mix when it comes to the Olympics but who can blame them for releasing music to take advantage of that.
So are the new tunes just taking advantage or actually worth their weight?
The track we are concentrating on is ‘Under the Westway’. Now this track is beautiful in the construction, using real music structure and an array of musical sounds. The intro is long but not overly so and builds up to stunning music, expertly played piano chords and a mix of sounds on top (including drums) to give it an athemic feel. Albarn‘s trademark slightly off-tune singing is eveident. Then comes the guitar, not too much and not too loud to add another new component.
Really, there is a lot going on here, with a hybrid feel of anthemic and experiemtal in evidence here. Add the element of Albarn‘s unique singing style and you have something that shouldn’t work. But it does. And bloody hell it works on a big scale. This is a stunning track. On listening to this I actually had goosebumps. This is classic Blur. In fact if it was made in a different generation, it would be considered classical music.
One word review: BRILLIANT!
We will review the Puritan soon. Maybe get somebody slightly less biased to do it!