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Single of the Week

Are You Blue Or Are You Blind

n the High Llamas' wake, this younger generation of classicists can't help but seem mind-boggingly two-dimensionel. Still, if it's stardom you crave such trifles needn't matter. The Bluetones seem to have already parked their wagon in the well-worn spot reserved for young men who feel obliged to inform the world of their brilliance at frequent intervals, just in case the world somehow fails to recognise such brilliance when it sees it.

At least this West London foursome have inpressive advance credentials, specifically 'No. 11', their vivid contribution to Fierce Panda's 'Return To Splendour' EP, which packed daunting reserves of gauche janglesome charm. Plus, it had a rawness which this buffed-up-to-the-nines debut proper quite glaringly misses. 'are you Blue Or Are You Blind?' comes straight off the Brit-beat template and puts not one impeccably behaved toe out of place, even when Mark Morriss yelps into an extravagantly over-stated "Ba-ba-ba!" routine. Young men with guitars can make 'perfect' pop only if they remember to cherish the imperfections, the results of the human foibles that we employ machines to cover up. Funny thing is, The Bluetones need look no further than their own yearning B-side 'Driftwood' to recognise their soul when they see it.


Extracted from nme, March 1995