Ever since Blur got back together in 2009 after an extended hiatus, I’ve been bemoaning the fact that there just hasn’t been very much new material forthcoming. 2010’s Record Store Day release, “Fool’s Day” was a brilliant track that left me wanting more. In the almost 2 1/2 years since that release there have been rumors of an album being recorded, rumors of recording sessions suddenly being halted, and questionable comments by singer Damon Albarn about anyone in the band not named Graham Coxon (strange considering the circumstances of Coxon’s departure from Blur during the Think Tank sessions). Finally it became clear that 2012 would be the year of Blur – a full 9 years since the release of their last album and 15 years since they finally broke in the US by simplifying their lyrics to a guttural “WOO HOO” ushered forth in 1997’s hit single “Song 2”. The summer of 2012 has seen a brand new single, the comprehensive box set 21, and the celebratory live album, Parklive.
I’m not a huge fan of bands reuniting without a new album to promote. When The Chameleons reunited in 2000 and toured throughout the world, as fans we were treated to a new studio album (very underrated in my opinion), a live album, and two acoustic albums. More than I expected and each of those albums from that time period are very special and unique. On the flip side, when The Pixies reunited we were treated to a few songs that seemed to be demos for solo projects fronting under The Pixies name. Quality was sorely lacking (my opinion – some of my friends love those songs). A new album never materialized and each time I read about a new tour by The Pixies it makes me sad – hawking old songs to an aging fan base to support solo endeavors.