Commute Music of the Week 5/9/14: “No Distance Left ro Run” Blur

Like Macy Gray’s “I Try”, this is a break up song I can back.

In the great Brit Pop debate, I fall pretty clearly in the Blur side of the Blur vs Oasis camp.   This song is one of the reasons why.

To most Americans, Blur’s career starts and ends with “Song 2” (a favorite anthem at hockey games).  But the Blur catalog is far more complex and yes, better than that one song with a chorus that even drunken sport fans can manage. While my son (who is a huge fan of Damon Albarn’s other group, Gorillaz), claims they are the nerdiest looking band,  even he has to admit that the music, from a lyric and melody standpoint is more than solid.  And btw, my son has never seen a picture of Freddie and the Dreamers, so I think his opinion of nerdy bands needs an update.

Damon Albarn’s vocals and the sorrow within make this song highly personable and universal all at the same time.   In interviews, he’s stated that  “Doing that vocal upset me greatly. To sing that lyric I really had to accept that that was the end of something in my life. It’s amazing when you do have the guts to do that with your work, because it don’t half help you.”

From the opening mournful guitar lick to the ending note, the music shares his pain, crying and mourning in concert with Albarn’s lyrics. The music lowers and swells like a person in pain. the drums and bass playing a steady heartbeat beneath it all.

Lost love and endings,  Letting go with broken dreams and regrets.  Its all here.  Down to the last upper register wail and descent of Albarn’s last “no more…”


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