When you wanna make a statement, you kinda need something to say.
The name of Blur's new single, "Don't Bomb When You Are the Bomb," could suggest the formerly apolitical band is taking a stand against Western military intervention in the Middle East. But the lyrics merely consist of the track title being repeated over and over in a half-sedated voice.
Moreover, since frontman Damon Albarn first talked about the song in March, it likely wasn't written about mounting tensions with Iraq, even though the singer has recently teamed up with Massive Attack's Robert Del Naja to design advertisements opposing British involvement in a U.S. attack on Iraq (see "U.K. Artists Sign Petition Opposing Invasion Of Iraq").
That said, the song is spacey and experimental enough that Blur fans will find cause for celebration. "Don't Bomb When You Are the Bomb" was quietly released as a 7-inch white label single marked with Arabic writing but nothing to indicate the name of the artist.
BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Steve Lamacq was the first to play the song. Introducing it on his "Evening Session" show, he said, "You have to hear this. It's the most out-there thing Blur have done. If this is a sign of what the next album will sound like, then it opens the door for all sorts of possibilities."
The cut starts with electronic percussion that sounds like it was recorded underwater, and builds with a simple minor-key synth melody. About a minute into the track, Blur kick into a slappy backbeat and a shimmering wall of feedback guitar as Albarn starts singing.
More dubby keyboard gurgles and wild sound effects follow before Albarn again urges listeners not to bomb if they are the bomb. The song ends with a disjointed synth passage over a syncopated beat.
"Don't Bomb When You Are the Bomb" is one of 17 songs already mixed for Blur's next record, bassist Alex James wrote on the band's Web site. William Orbit is with the band is in Devon, England, touching up some of the material. The still-untitled disc was mostly produced in Morocco by Fatboy Slim and will feature additional production by Stephen Street, who worked on Blur's Parklife (1994).
The new Blur album, due in early 2003, will feature minimal contributions by guitarist Graham Coxon, who left Blur earlier this year after the band's management asked him not to show up for the Morocco sessions.