[10] Blur, ‘Song 2’

And whoomph. Blur killed Britpop.

It only took two minutes as well.

Why didn’t anyone think of it before?

‘Song 2’ was given its due props by Junior, who flung herself from side to side during the choppy verses and headbanged perfectly in time to the speedrush chorus. She then made a dive for her dad’s notebook, trying to rip up her history like a short female Albarn.

She walked unaided for the first time today too. Fifteen steps the best consecutive effort. It wasn’t easy, but nothing is.

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[17] Blur, ‘Tender’

Albarn

Or Damon’s brave devotional country and western mantra folly. If nothing else, it makes babies rock slowly back and forth, wailing along here and there. Mind you, by the seventh minute, Junior was on her belly pulling herself over to the coffee table to upset all the Sunday papers. Whatever it takes to block out Graham Coxon’s whiny, reedy voice.

I loved this song for a week or two. Albarn’s singing was shocking on Top Of The Pops, but I thought we had a new Kumbaya hippy dippy campfire classic. Yes, of course we needed one. Its appeal waned all too quickly, and by the time everyone saw that cute little milk carton haring about it was completely forgotten. Aw, bless that little milk carton.

‘Tender’ sounds ok today. Moving off-topic, there are FIVE American female soloists to come in the next 16. A special, unspecified, possibly fictional prize to anyone who can guess them.

[10] Blur, ‘The Universal’

That clever-clever Clockwork Orange video, the voguish thought-control paranoia of the lyric, the clean lines and tuneless faffings of The Great Escape: Blur were a funny old mixed bag in 1995. Parklife – half a very good album – gave them too much fame and they didn’t know what to do with it. I don’t know if they intended to skewer it with half-baked songs, but it was a sterling effort.

‘The Universal’ is one of two exceptions, to these ears. It’s singalong (ooh, “ironic” karaoke), has some fine trumpet interludes, satisfying use of strings and it builds to a crescendo rather like the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Jealousy’. 

Junior jumped when the strings came in, but soon relaxed as her dad did his near-legendary violin mime. She did the head-rock again, for a moment resembling a classical cellist, and rounded things off with a few of her favourite lip-smacks like an Albarn relishing his Gorillaz cash.

You can almost hear Graham Coxon sneering that he never liked hits anyway.

[20] Gorillaz featuring De La Soul, ‘Feel Good Inc.’

Junior’s grinning at me before I’ve even stepped away from the stereo, and by the time De La Soul start their “laughing gas” cackles she’s in bits. Posdnuos, Trugoy and Mace first came to Junior’s attention when she was minus 16 and twinkling in the corner of her dad’s eye by the municipal outdoor pool in Berkhamsted. She stuck with them through the jazz period and the frankly boring albums period, and is delighted to see them return to the fore as ciphers to Albarn’s cartoon characters.