Thursday, 9 August 2007

Are You Blue Or Are You Blind?

A mischievous title for the band's debut single proper, a number 31 hit in 1995 which wasn't included on debut Expecting To Fly, possibly seen as too throwaway to fit. It's throwaway in the best possible sense, though, a burst of instant, sunshiney pop that comes rushing out the blocks, never lets up in energy ends perfectly in under three minutes, job done. Along the way we get even more great backing vocals than usual, an incredibly confident call and response chorus and a singalong 'ba ba ba ba' or twenty.

For such an early and deceptively simple appearing song there are a lot of clever touches within, too. The way that its rattling guitar riff pinballs back and forth between speakers behind the second verse is addictively unusual, and the verses especially deal in splashes of colour and mood at the expense of narrative in a way that's engagingly at odds with its agressively direct tune. It's not quite the complete article, and I'm not sure that I'd take this version of the band over the more emotional and complex one that emerged afterwards, but the pop thrill of "Are You Blue Or Are You Blind?" is certainly a great thing to find in the depths of a discography.