(Apologies to Damon Albarn for that image…just makes me smile every time…)
With today’s new music, you could very easily think you’ve fallen asleep and woken up, ‘Life on Mars’ style, back in the 1990s. But before you go and put on your shellsuit, we are still very much in 2012, celebrating Britpop’s true genius (sorry Jarvis. Not sorry in any way Noel), and one of my favourite 90s bands.
Starting with Damon Albarn, I must say he really makes me sick. This man goes from amazing band (Blur) to amazing band (Gorillaz) to, well, amazing ‘band’ (the Good, the Bad and the Queen) with alarming rapidity. And now he’s solo, with an album based on an opera he’s written. Those of you who were secretly hoping he’d gone too far and would fail, I’m sorry to tell you it comes off horrendously well. Equal parts ‘Kingdom of Doom’ and ‘No Distance Left to Run’, it’s a beautiful little acoustic song, and everything the post-Oasis solo albums weren’t – i.e. good.
Song taken from ‘Dr Dee’, released May 8th on Parlophone
Next up, it’s Garbage, the Scottish-American band known for hooks as flawless as Shirley Manson, their glamorous lead singer. They’ve been away since 2005 album ‘Bleed Like Me’, save for a nifty little U2 cover for Q last year. The NME blog this week said they were uncool, but I disagree; not only were they responsible for great songs like ‘Queer’, ‘Stupid Girl’ and ‘Why Do You Love Me?’, but they wrote a Bond theme. Bond themes are cool. Tom Jones did one. And Lulu.
In all seriousness, though, it’s good to have them back, with new single ‘Battle in Me’ seeing them on top seething and bitter form – seething and bitter enough, in fact, to send the Sheeran brigade crying back to their mothers. Which can only be a good thing for the charts.
Song taken from ‘Not Your Kind of People’, released May 14th on Stunvolume