Blur came back with clumsy single ‘Go Out’, but have released second taster ‘There Are Too Many Of Us’, which is arguably much better. From the blunt title to the orchestral flourishes and the icy piano/glockenspiel/whatever, ‘There Are…’ is a much stronger song, in message and instrumentally, than ‘Go Out’. It lacks the scratchy Coxon guitar of ‘Go Out’, but instead there’s a dreamy, floating guitar solo in its place that never outstays its welcome and reminds me of ‘Everything Drifts’ from Iceage, although I don’t think for one second Blur were influenced by Danish Punks. There are cosmic synths glistening in the background, which beefs out the song. But the main instrument is the pounding acoustic guitar and strings reminiscent of an army marching to a beat.
‘There Are Too Many Of Us’ shows the signs of Albarn’s political influences after seeing North Korea firsthand. He sings ‘there are too many of us / In tiny houses here and there Just passing out somewhere / But you don’t care’, almost like he’s singing at a dictator that doesn’t care about his citizens. It helps that Albarn sings like a world-weary wanderer. There also seems to be a swipe at religion, ‘We all believe in praying / For our immortality’. I’m still not sold on how good ‘The Magic Whip’ will be, ‘There Are…’ lacks the emotional punch of previous Blur songs, instead replaced by what could be Muse-sized-politicism. However, ‘There Are Too Many Of Us’ promises a glimmer of hope in what could easily go either way from here on in.