ALBUM REVIEW: Blur – The Ballad of Darren | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed



Released: 21.07.23







Hauntingly beautiful and melancholic at times, Blur’s new album is best consumed whole to fully enjoy its contemplative story of retrospection. A chartered history from the early days, the first track, The Ballad, lives up to its title with soaring strings and a heartfelt poignancy, before Coxon’s spiky discordant guitars punch forward in St. Charles Square, leaning towards the quirky punk-infused Blur of old.

The highlight, The Narcissist, is beautiful and uplifting, carefully crafted with messages of hope: “I won’t fall this time”. Strings and brass throughout highlight the slower tracks; Avalon has highlights of magic in the chorus, and the gentle waltz of Far Away Island is moving and wistful before The Heights brings the album to a gentle close.


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