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Albums Of The Week: Blur | The Ballad Of Darren

Damon Albarn & co. regroup for their first new album in eight long years. Whoo-hoo!


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the most successful British bands of the last three decades, Blur are back with their first new album in over right years: The Ballad of Darren. Preceded by first single The Narcissist, the album was produced by James Ford and recorded in Studio 13, London and Devon, and is the sound of a band at the very top of their game.

The Ballad of Darren is the band’s ninth studio album, their first since the chart-topping The Magic Whip in 2015, with artwork featuring an image by British photographer Martin Parr.

“This is an aftershock record,” says frontman Damon Albarn. “Reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now.”

Guitarist Graham Coxon adds: “The older and madder we get, it becomes more essential that what we play is loaded with the right emotion and intention. Sometimes just a riff doesn’t do the job.”

Bassist Alex James adds, “For any long-term relationship to last with any meaning you have to be able to surprise each other somehow and somehow we all continue to do that.”

Drummer Dave Rowntree says, “It always feels very natural to make music together. With every record we do, the process reveals something new and we develop as a band. We don’t take that for granted.”

Since announcing their arrival with the debut album Leisure in 1991, Blur went on to revolutionise the sound of English popular music with six successive U.K. No. 1 albums — Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995), Blur (1997), 13 (1999), Think Tank (2003) and The Magic Whip (2015) — and a string of Top 10 singles, including two No. 1’s with Country House and Beetlebum, helping to propel the band to mass popularity at home and abroad. One of the biggest British bands of the last three decades, Blur have released eight studio albums and collected 10 NME Awards, six Q Awards, five BRIT Awards and an Ivor Novello Award, and played live to thousands of devoted fans across the globe.”


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