And let us carry that steady stream of MMMs down to the holy water, where they will prosper.
Today, we’re giving Blur a bit of airtime with Coffee & TV, the second single from 1999’s 13. Watch the classic video below:
I’ve always been a pretty steady Blur fan, always being my favourites of the “Britpop” label because, unlike a handful of others (*COUGH COUGH* OASIS *COUGH*), they managed to, I dunno, progress musically. And recently, I’ve been enjoying their more alternative albums, rather than The Great Escape and Parklife (both of which I have been known to bop on occasion). Coffee & TV is the epitome of this, coming at the band’s creative turning point and encompassing a somewhat more nuanced approach to songwriting than a lot of their earlier work.
Written by Graham Coxon, the song’s endlessly entwining guitar parts, from the feedback transitions, to the acoustic seabed and glittery electric leads, give it an intricate feel, with a lot of individual parts. This, paired with Alex James’ particularly sweet bassline, makes for a song that sounds decievingly poppy, while the more experimental aspects are slipped in seamlessly. Coxon also takes lead vocals on this track, a welcome break from Damon Albarn’s often laddy vocal style. His introspective voice makes for a perfect fit to the personal and sentimental lyrics, which, like literally all of his solo work, deride from his experience with alcoholism. As cynical as that sentence may sound, the simple imagery here hasn’t yet been perfected in many of Blur’s songs since.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations