Tag Archives: Blur

431. Kaiser Chiefs – “Employment”

As mentioned somewhere else here, I have shown sporadic interest in bands who might fall under the Britpop banner.

I was an enthusiastic fan(to varying degrees) of the Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets and the Wonderstuff .  I did own some Blur on cassette, and eventually picked up some Oasis.

I less au fait with the more recent aspirants to Britpop royalty. I missed the Arctic Monkeys bus somewhat. I was there early on for the Kaiser Chiefs however.  Perhaps it was their clever decision to name themselves after a South African soccer franchise, but mostly likely it was the gushing praise they received in the press upon birth.

The praise was justified, as these guys cornered the market for wryly intelligent power pop for a few moments, conjuring up images of the Kinks, along with their more recent brethren.  The songs go well with a pint, and would get many a bad-haircutted pasty lad onto a dancefloor:

As is often the case with debuts, this CD has an abundance of clever, original singles.  Indeed, a more experienced or jaded band might have spread the ideas more thinly from song to song. Oh My God is a surprisingly slow build single for example:

There’s enough on this album to reignite a British bromance…

File under: Good job lads

346. Gorillaz – “Gorillaz”

I have long harboured a desire to be a cartoon character. Alas, my dream has not been realised to the extent of Damon Albarn and his buddies.

I’ve only ever had a passing interest in the output of Blur. I did own their Great Escape album on cassette, but it’s been lost somewhere in my travels.

This album was very, very hard to resist however. The Clint Eastwood track is a pop masterpiece, and so perfectly suited to the imagery of the band (even if they are terrible lip-synchers):

Much of the album is a surprisingly restrained and subtle collection in comparison. It burbles along in a similar vein to the Avalanches, but with a more daytime groove and less attention-seeking. It feels the soundtrack to some bright sunny, lazy day in some cyber near-future Tokyo.

The highpoints tend to revolve around the laid back rhymes of Del the Funky Homosapien on the aforementioned hit and Rock Tha House. Albarn sounds his funkiest on 19-2000.

Clearly Albarn is more talented and creative than Blur ever allowed him to be. He also has some handy acquaintances (including the most under-rated Talking Head Tina Weymouth).

This is a big tick for collaboration and virtualisation.

File under: Giving Josie and the Pussycats a run for their money