Legendary English band Blur return with their highly anticipated ninth studio album, The Ballad Of Darren, their first in eight years.
Produced by James Ford at Studio 13 in London and Devon, The Ballad Of Dream marks Blur's triumphant comeback since their last release, The Magic Whip, in 2015. Notably, it also deviates from their usual collaboration with longtime producer Stephen Street.
The new album features 10 new tracks that showcase Blur's signature sound and also their musical evolution. With artwork featuring an image by esteemed British photographer Martin Parr, the album exudes both artistic and sonic excellence. I for one have been eagerly awaiting this release, as it marks their first album in eight years, following a period of individual creative journeys among the band members.
In terms of formats, The Ballad Of Darren is available in various options depending on your listening preference. It’s available digitally, on standard CD, or the deluxe CD edition, which includes two bonus tracks and expanded packaging. Vinyl lovers can choose between the standard black vinyl LP or the exclusive deluxe clear vinyl with black swirls version in a gatefold sleeve. The deluxe vinyl package includes additional treasures such as a poster, bonus 7" single, CD, and a booklet featuring exclusive handwritten notes, sketches, and lyrics. For those who want to rock the album in their boombox, it’s also available on cassette.
Since their debut album Leisure in 1991, Blur have made an indelible mark on the British music scene. They revolutionized the sound of English pop music and achieved six consecutive UK No. 1 albums, including the iconic Parklife, The Great Escape, and Blur. Their string of Top 10 singles, including chart-toppers "Country House" and "Beetlebum," catapulted the band to unparalleled fame both domestically and internationally.
Blur's status as one of the most influential British bands of the past three decades is well-deserved. With eight studio albums under their belt, they have received widespread acclaim and numerous accolades. Their impressive collection of awards includes ten NME Awards, six Q Awards, five BRIT Awards, and an Ivor Novello Award. Moreover, their live performances have thrilled audiences worldwide, creating lasting memories for their devoted fans.
With The Ballad Of Darren, Blur continue to evolve their sonic landscape while staying true to their artistic roots, and the album promises to captivate fans old and new, solidifying Blur's position as one of the most influential and beloved bands of their generation.