I am, and there’s no better word for it, a Blur superfan. They’ve been my favorite band since I was 17. That was 1995. You can do the math. But all old jokes aside, I was very sad that I couldn’t make the trek to London to stand in line for hours and get one of the 1,000 copies of the new Blur 7″ “Fool’s Day” released for Record Store Day in the UK. As an old-school collector who spent all my lunch money on imported Blur singles, this was a painful decision. At least no one could go because of some sort of apocalyptic devil-ash, and I take solace in that. And in the fact that the internet exits… but I’ll get to the song now.
The song at once sounds familiar and wonderful to anyone who has long awaited new blur material. It is equal parts Leisure era shoegaze and self-titled era guitar fuzz mastery. Like if “All Your Life” had a baby with “There’s No Other Way”. There are a lot of comparisons begging to be made, but let’s not play that game too much. When a band has been around for 20 years, there’s a lot of material for comparison (for instance, I have 15 hours worth of blur music in my iTunes), but that’s not going to get us anywhere.
It is a solid song with a great beat and bass line, but it is all about the guitar and vocals on this one (sorry Alex and Dave!). Damon Albarn’s monotone delivery is striking as usual and pulls you into his world. The lyrics are like a day in the life of Mr. Albarn. He takes his kid to school, takes a ride on his bike, and goes to the studio. It is really beautiful and introspective, more so than most Blur songs. The guitar line is the star though, alternating between jangly and strident feedback. If you had been following Graham Coxon’s career since Blur this shouldn’t be a surprise since he has really come into his own on his solo records.
More than anything though, as I listen to the song over and over again, I realize that “Fool’s Day” is more like an anthem to fans of the band. It mixes their old and new sound. It highlights the relationship between Damon and Graham, having them harmonize on the last verse, with Graham’s voice just a little stronger than it used to be. And best of all, in the lyrics Damon gives us this line: “A studio, and love of all sweet music. We just can’t let go.” Giving us all hope for more songs to come while singing back to all of us how we feel (Damon, you cheeky minx!). We just can’t let go. With good reason.
If you’d like the song, it is available for download as of midnight GMT at http://blur.co.uk/
For now you can tide yourself over with this: