1. History Song -
"Sunday's lost in melancholy" sings Albarn over eerie
organ and acoustic guitar on a track inspired by the origins
of the expression "hangers on" - people who'd cling to the
body of those condemned to hang to shorten their agony.
2. '80s Life - Chopsticks piano, clipped arpeggios and
doleful vocals on this cryptic, under-the-weather answer to
3. Northern Whale - "It was a love song, saying if you
fall in the water I'll turn myself into a northern whale and
come and get you," says Albarn of this plinky, lo-fi
electronic ballad. "Then, would you Adam-and-Eve it, a
northern whale came swimming up the Thames, so it evolved into
a song about that."
4. Kingdom Of Doom - "Drink all day 'cos the country's
at war" wails Albarn amid cavernous early Floyd-style
reverb on this self-proclaimed "love song for the
5. Herculean - A surreal, trip-hoppy homage to Ewan
McColl's "Dirty Old Town", complete with canals, gasworks,
ominous strings and premonitions of Armageddon.
6. Behind The Sun - Bleak skies, baleful gales and
spy-movie guitars clear to reveal a sunnily upbeat chorus on
this touching, frail ballad.
7. The Bunting Song - A twinkling pastoral lullaby which
nevertheless suggests that "the days are a ticking bomb".
8. Nature Springs - "Oceanographers are charting the
rise of the seas" while submarines "search for a dream
far away" on this pretty, shuffling ballad, full of
birdsong and violins.
9. A Soldier's Tale - Acoustic guitars, gliding strings,
the calm of twilight and the overwhelming relief that there's
"no drunken stuff spewing out of my mouth".
10. Three Changes - A jazzy wamp of fairground organ and
fidgety drums breaks down to a loping skank while Albarn
complains that we are "living in magazines / We're looking
for a reason why people stand all alone in the night."
11. Green Fields - Originally donated to Marianne
Faithfull, this beautiful Kinksy love song despairs of how
"the green fields turned into stone" and concludes that
"it's honesty that secures the bond in the heart".
12. The Good, The Bad & The Queen - A surreal knees-up
round a knackered old joanna that celebrates how the same sun
cheers both Queen and crackheads - before building up to a
psychotic guitar wig-out.