Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A song a day: Blur – Beetlebum

When my friends got hooked on heroin there was nothing pretty about it, definitely not as pretty as the 1:50 floating coda of Beetlebum. Largely acknowledged by the band as alluding to the stoned out malaise of addiction, Beetlebum is nonetheless a startling song of contradictions. The scratchy opening riff sounds too short and hard to be of much interest but once Albarn’s starts singing, the song is transported to a different place. The slinky bass hooks you in preparation for the transcendent falsetto chorus break that seems to float above the song’s chaotic musical heart. Whenever I describe this song, floating is the word I come back to – it starts as a claustrophobic crawl and then expands into a soaring dream. Maybe that’s what heroin feels like but I wouldn’t know because it fucking killed my friends so I wasn't stupid enough to try it.


1 comment:

  1. Great coda/outra. That repeated riff with echo, the distorted vocals, and that sudden, snapped-up closure before the mad popstergrunge of Song 2.

    I did not know it was so drug-oriented; I just heard about the Showing Oasis How to Write a Beatles Hit single.

    Plus it's still one of my fave Blur albums, despite its unevenness, and everyone carping about it's being PavementBetaBandish.