Wednesday, May 14, 2008

THE GREAT SONGS : # 184 "TO THE END" by BLUR

From 1994's Parklife:

Great pop songwriters are even greater observers of culture. In recent incarnations, Damon Albarn still stands as proof to that theory, but in between the years of 1994-1995, the output of Albarn and his band Blur rivaled the jukebox eccentricity of The Beatles circa The White Album. (For example: Listen to "Entertain Me", from The Great Escape, and damn if it doesn't pre-date the current dance-guitar trend of LCD Soundsytem and all their friends.)

"To The End" re-imagines Serge Gainsbourg and Bridgette Bardot's "Bonnie & Clyde" as a successful, melodramatic pub-crawl back to a bird's house for a shag. Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier offers the response to Albarn's call. (In cute fashion, Sadier also recorded the original "Bonnie & Clyde" with Luna's Dean Wareham). The video set this scenario in a send-up of Alain Resnais' love-it-or-hate-it, and clinically cinematic, Last Year At Marienbad.

Sure, with all that tounge-in-cheekiness you'd expect to start popping out some canker sores, but Albarn plays down the irony with focused vocalizing from a voice already burdened with limited range.

And the chorus is loaded with all of the hilarity and sincerity you'd expect from a drunk person that's high on hyperbole, simultaneously making them feel like it's the end of the world while they are at the center of it.

"WELL YOU AND I
COLLAPSED IN LOVE
AND IT LOOKS LIKE
WE MIGHT'VE MADE IT
YES, IT LOOKS LIKE
WE'VE MADE IT TO THE END..."


4 comments:

Mandy said...

I saw Blur on the 13 tour in Dublin. Damon had gotten over his awful breakup with Justine, found a new girlfriend, and they had just had a baby. They played "To the End," and Damon prefaced it by saying something like, "It's been a long time since I felt like singing this song." I thought that was really sweet.

Fox said...

I was listening to *13* again recently and was remembering how good it is. "No Distance Left To Run" can still make me cry if it catches me in just the right reflective mood.

ryan said...

"No Distance Left to Run" destroys me.

1minutefilmreview said...

Miss those days...really, back to the 90's, those are days of being wild...