We’re two weeks in, and there’s more songs than we know what to do with. This week we shuffle through a surprising amount of B’s, and they’re all classic B’s. But seriously – Blur, Beatles, Beyoncé, Bowie. We wallow in post-breakup misery with Blur, damage our hearing with Sparklehorse and catch Bowie in a strange phase.
No Distance Left To Run – Blur
Not the happiest way to begin a shuffle sequence, but do we really have a choice? This highlight from the best Blur album (no question) was about Damon Albarn’s relationship disintegration, and he sounds like he’s falling apart. ‘I won’t kill myself, trying to stay in your life / I got no distance left to run’ – 13 is often credited as an album about Albarn’s breakup, but does it get featured in enough breakup album lists? No where near, but it’s songs like ‘No Distance Left To Run’ stand toe-to-toe with Adele’s heartbreakers. The song manages to have Graham Coxon show off his guitar skills within a ballad, plus there’s some excellent backing vocals. Well, now I’m all sad.
Polythelene Pam – The Beatles
I have one Beatles album saved, and it’s Abbey Road. I haven’t even heard the thing the whole way through. If you’re looking for a Beatles’ song which has some hidden meaning, you won’t find it here. It’s barely over a minute and is pretty much about an attractive woman with the strange line ‘She’s so good-looking but she looks like a man’. Nice back-handed compliment, guys. The scouse accent when they sing ‘You could say she was attractively built’ is the funniest thing on the track. The song sounds underdeveloped, but then again I don’t think I could stand two more verses about plastic bags.
Sweet Dreams – Beyoncé
Oh, we’ve hit the jackpot. Remember when this was played on repeat for about a year? This is 8 years old! Sasha Fierce was peak Beyoncé, if we’re talking 100% pop-Beyoncé. Anything afterwards, it gets arty and conceptual, whilst still making sure Beyoncé remained the Queen of Pop. This album was loaded with singles, top to bottom. The kind of semi-chorus of ‘My guilty pleasure, I ain’t going nowhere / Baby as long as you’re here, I’ll be floating on air’ is incredible, especially when it switches out from the main chorus, just like that. It’s kind of untouchable, even if it’s not ‘Halo’. Now, ‘Halo’, we can’t talk about that.
Ghost Of His Smile – Sparklehorse
I have no idea what Sparklehorse is, I think my first point of contact was his duet with Thom Yorke on a cover of ‘Wish You Were Here’, which I have forgotten completely. Somebody made some weird production choices on this track, I assume on purpose, because the drums and guitars are crushed up to the point of verging on unlistenable. The little keyboard line is cute, and the vocals punch through well. I think it’s about an introvert, but the ‘ghost of a smile’ line makes me think he might be depressed. This is a sad song, and I think I need to move on before the guitars make my ears bleed.
Knock On Wood – Live, 2016 Remastered – David Bowie
This is from the Who Can I Be Now? boxset that came out a few weeks ago and I fully recommend it if you’re as interested as I am in Bowie’s in-between stage between glam and his Berlin period. It’s in-keeping with his soul interest of the time, being a cover of Eddie Floyd, who I’m told is a soul artist from the 60s. But the song gets jacked up into a Diamond Dogs rock track with a glam-rock guitar and a saxophone blaring away in the background. I can’t see him, but I imagine Bowie strutting across stage in some kind of intense suit.
Best Of The Week?
‘No Distance Left To Run’, followed by ‘Sweet Dreams’. Beyoncé might have the shinier song, but ‘No Distance Left To Run’ has you covered for wallowing in sadness, which we don’t recommend, but if you have to, ‘No Distance’ is cathartic.