Thursday, 13 August 2009

This Is The Last Century

Why are so many people so keen on 'The Universal' by Blur? It's one of the twin troughs of anthemic Britpop along with the cretinous 'Wonderwall'. Albarn and chums may have been aiming for Scott Walker territory, but they couldn't even make it to Anthony Newley's gaff, their paltry songwriting talents only carrying them as far as Tommy Steele's front yard.

It's a such an unlovable sound too, the aural equivalent of being walled up in an Asda with ten thousand Steve Lamacqs - which may be the point (the song's about mind control, yada yada yada) but that still doesn't make it any good. All those 'ominous' strings and ironically triumphant brass... ewww. It's a waste of resources, but not a glorious one, and the effect is dismal, alienating. To me, anyway... it's like an anthem designed to encourage precisely the 'battery thinking' it's simultaneously decrying.

It's been suggested to me that 'The Universal' is one of the better features of The Great Escape - a truly vile but nevertheless sporadically interesting record - but to me it's just more Albarnian 'La-la-LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!' made even less appealing by the group's smug pseudo-intellectualism.

I'm a bit late in expressing this opinion, but OH MY DAYS hasn't the recent Blur revival been one of 2009's more depressing cultural events? Do we really need them back? Reeeally?