Blur is back! Band announces new album and new single

Michael Loccisano/GettyImages

One of the best bands from the Britpop era, Blur, is returning with a new album called The Ballad of Darren. The album will be released on July 21st by Parlophone Records. Blur also unveiled the first song from the album, “The Narcissist.”

The Ballad of Darren will be Blur’s first album since 2015’s The Magic Whip. The release of the record comes after the band said last November that they would play a Wembley Stadium show this coming July. Demand was so great for the one show that Blur announced they are adding a second show as well, plus several other live performances this summer (mostly festivals).

“The Narcissist” at least sounds like classic Blur. That’s a good thing, though. Blur may not ever grow well beyond what they sounded like in 2000, for instance, but sonically they have always been better than most bands, including excellent production and musicianship on their albums and fantastic energy live (especially singer Damon Albarn). “The Narcissist” could even fit on albums like Parklife and Think Tank.

Blur returns with their first studio album in eight years, The Ballad of Darren

Honestly, sometimes it’s refreshing when a band with such a gift for melody doesn’t try to re-think its sound. As long as the songs don’t get stale and boring, and Blur never has, then there’s no need to change. The band has enough talent where they can find nuance even within the same chord structure.

The Ballad of Darren will consists of 10 songs. The tracklisting is as follows:

1. The Ballad 
2. St Charles Square
3. Barbaric
4. Russian Strings
5. The Everglades (For Leonard)
6. The Narcissist 
7. Goodbye Albert
8. Far Away Island
9. Avalon
10 The Heights

Next. 3 rock bands you should be listening to right now. dark

The Ballad of Darren will be Blur's ninth studio album and possibly their last. Of course, we think that with nearly every new Blur album, and the album won't even be the longest time between the previous record. The Magic Whip came 12 years after Think Tank (2003), for instance.