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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Modern Life Is Rubbish

Blur

1993

Modern Life Is Rubbish

Album Summary

Modern Life Is Rubbish is the second album by the English alternative rock band Blur, released in May 1993. Although their debut album Leisure (1991) had been commercially successful, Blur faced a severe media backlash soon after its release, and fell out of public favour. After the group returned from an unsuccessful tour of the United States, poorly received live performances and the rising popularity of rival band Suede further diminished Blur's status in the UK. Under threat of being dropped by Food Records, for their next album Blur underwent an image makeover championed by frontman Damon Albarn. The band incorporated influences from traditional British guitar-pop groups such as the Kinks and the Small Faces, and the resulting sound was melodic and lushly produced, featuring brass, woodwind and backing vocalists. Albarn's lyrics on Modern Life Is Rubbish use "poignant humour and Ray Davies characterisation to investigate the dreams, traditions and prejudices of suburban England", according to writer David Cavanagh.Modern Life Is Rubbish was a moderate chart success in the UK; the album peaked at number 15, while the singles taken from the album charted in the Top 30. Applauded by the music press, the album's Anglocentric rhetoric rejuvenated the group's fortunes after their post-Leisure slump. Modern Life Is Rubbish is regarded as one of the defining releases of the Britpop scene, and its chart-topping follow-ups—Parklife and The Great Escape—saw Blur emerge as one of Britain's leading pop acts.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.16

Votes

4778

Genres

  • Rock
  • Britpop
  • Indie
Reviews
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3

Honestly, it didn't make much impact on me. I neither hated nor loved this album. It was mostly ignorable, early-90s poprock. Just... meh.

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5

Always thought I was an oasis man. Turns out I’m a blur man

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1

Too long and too boring. This album is rubbish.

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5

classic britpop origins album

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4

Never listened to Blur saved for a few songs, knew they were more than "Song 2" (which was a parody anyway). This is some damn good britpop. Damon Albarn really knows how to craft a catch tune. Favorite tracks: "For Tomorrow", "Oily Water", "Villa Roise"

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4

Found out that I like Blur

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4

MY FACE! WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ON MY FACE! ARGH FUCK! MY FACE! MY FACE! GET IT OFF MY FACE! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY FACE? MY BEAUTIFUL FACE! MAKE IT STOP! MY FACE! MY FACE! NOT MY FACE! MY HANDSOMELY STRUCTURED FACE IS FALLING APART. PLEASE, NO! NOT MY FACE! ANYTHING BUT MY FACE! NOT THE FACE. MY FACE! NOT THE FACE! WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING? WHAT'S HAPPENING?! WHY? MY FUCKIN' FACE! MY FACE! THIS ISN'T FAIR. NOT THE FACE!

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3

Some people are too smart for their own good. You've probably met those sorts of guys before. They're often sitting in the back of the office or the classroom, having that distanced 'I-can't-be-bothered' stare, idly turning their head towards the urban smog outside the window, as if listening to their own inner teacher or boss instead of the real man in charge. If you're a little intrigued by all that cynical, borderline-nihilistic reserve, you sometimes find yourself talking to such a person during coffee breaks, just to see what they're all about. Soon, however, you realize you won't gain much from the conversation anyway, and often leave that coffee break even more nonplussed than you were before. You admit still being fascinated a little, but the unobtrusive words exchanged on the surface keep on screaming "boredom" to your ears. The only real problem being that you don't know for sure if said boredom actually belongs to that person you talked to, or if it's just *yours*. That bloke is *Modern Life Is Rubbish*-era Damon Albarn. Too smart for his own good, and thereby missing a chance to genuinely impress or fully convince you. Admittedly, this doesn't mean there's absolutely anything Damon and his pals from Blur couldn't say with some sort of force or intent when they recorded their second, aptly-named, album. There is, actually. "For Tomorrow" is nothing but a stellar opener, for example (more on that later), nicely paying homage to a oh-so-brit tradition established by the Kinks--whose shadow obviously looms above the first part of Blur's career (minus-*Leisure*) with decidedly good aftereffects overall. Here the vocal melody floats with a bittersweet, mock-happy-go-lucky charm that belies the existential dread underneath the song itself, and it takes a full string section towards the end of that gem to reveal the full tragedy at hand in that tale about postmodern dread. Following that great introduction, "Advert" is a little punky masterpiece that snarls and rattles the point of the album's title home even better than the opener. The schoolboy's lament "Pressure on Julian", a swampy track that foretells left-field, grungy elements from *Blur* and *13*, owes a lot to Graham Coxon's admirable chops on his six strings, the sort of musical sprinkling that can't hurt a second-tier song. As for "Turn It Up", it is a bouncy pop song that gives some needed levity at the eleventh hour (even though it's no "Song 2" or "Girls And Boys" either). This list of assets could go on, of course. Production is flawless (courtesy of long-time collaborators Steve Lovell and Stephen Street). Arrangements are artful. But are those tracks *memorable*? Do you remember *that* guy from your old classroom now, as well-dressed as he was? Probably not. Let's just hope that lad's nihilistic stance hasn't triggered him to do the worst and harm himself at some later points of his life at least. "He's a twentieth century boy / With his hands on the rails / Trying not to be sick again / And holding on for tomorrow". This is how the album starts, namely as an inverted T-Rex anthem where contemplations about suicide have taken the place of the usual calls to hedonism enacted throughout the history of rock'n'roll. On the same song, Damon tells a little more about the alienated individuals having such self-destructive thoughts: "Jim stops and gets out of the car / Goes to a house in Emperor's Gate / Through the door and to his room / And then he puts the TV on / Turns it off and makes some tea". Vacant life at its most obvious here. See also "Blue Jeans": "Blue, blue jeans I wear them every day / There's no particular reason to change / My thoughts are getting banal, I can't help it". Uh, OK, Damon, we *get* it. Consumer society and constant commodification play their parts gnawing us all into tiny little squibs devoid of all life. But the point is: do *you* have to sound so bored yourself to hammer that idea home? Isn't that overkill? C'mon, chin up. Shake a leg. You're turning into an annoying, humourless slob here, and this might go against your first intent, don't you think? Because... well, yes, duh: *Modern Life Is Rubbish* says it straight right from its title. You can't relax ("Star Shaped"), you're barfing on food and drugs to vent your frustrations out ("Chemical World"), there are leeches in the close-cropped lawns and "eating between meals stifles the appetite". Nice program, right? You also have to deal with publicity sponsors ("Colin Zeal"), militaries ("Sunday Sunday"), or even the CIA agency on "Miss America", an overlong dirge that saps what's left of the album momentum on side 2. This is a record that ends with a song called "Resigned", folks! Even though at that point, we're not necessarily caring any longer either, mind you, as harsh as it sounds to say so. All this performative angst might actually be nothing short of rosy under the sun for amateurs of works driven by wry, pessimistic hot takes about our late capitalistic societies. But the crux of the issue here is that overall, *Modern Life Is Rubbish* is almost a complete misfire on those topics, bordering on self-indulgence in the expression of mundane banalities, and becoming itself the sort of bane that it supposedly tries to tackle in the first place. And in a way, the music itself is burdened by the exact same sort of problems that are plaguing Albarn's lyrical conceits throughout the record. There is no sense of direction to the whole thing. Melodically speaking, some songs, especially those with the most "Britpop" inflexions, appear lively on the surface, but there's none of that catchy *spark* in them, none of the sheer tongue-in-cheek inventivity and directness Blur will become known for in *Parklife* for instance. It is probably no coincidence the latter was released only a year after this one, as if the Essex boys had felt the need to course-correct the many shortcomings witnessed here as soon as possible, before it was too late and they lost that peculiar zeitgeist they were aiming at in that tentative effort here. Likewise, what could pass for melancholy or mystery in some of those songs will be better explored later on, first with "To The End" on *Parklife*, and then further in parts of *The Great Escape*. But mostly, it is during the post-Britpop period that this specific dimension will finally bloom. Before those glorious days ahead, what we have is merely a sketch of the promising future, drawn thanks to a somewhat mechanical hand on auto-pilot. The sarcastic Village Green Preservation Society of days yonder has turned brown, and then bare. Blur still tries to summon its wry, ironic poetry, but their heart's not in it, as if squashed by the weight of their own conceptual pretensions. Fortunately, they found a way out of this conundrum, given that there isn't anything in *Modern Life Is Rubbish* that Blur hasn't done *better* in the three albums that followed it, gving Albarn and company the opportunity to finally have their cakes and eat it too. In those later records (*Parklife*, *The Great Escape* and *Blur*) not only has Blur allowed themselves to grind their axe about the pitfalls of modernity, but this time they also managed to have fun on the wayside. The music there does not merely *snarls*, it also *giggles*, *guffaws* and *rolls on the floor with laughter. Sometimes it also jumpstarts, gets genuinely angry, croons and even cries. In the core of those emotions, commodification and the unavoidable existential responses it triggers in us all are still lying there somewhere, honoring the initial program established in the band's second album. But to target those themes for what they are, you still need to contrast them with a little spice, a little flavour, and it's a lesson Blur has probably learned the hard way through this transitional second LP. Overall, we *do* agree with you, Damon: "modern life is rubbish" indeed. But no one said you *can't* have a wholehearted laugh about it, at least. [Number of albums I listened to from the list: 2 Albums left to listen to: 999 Number of albums I've found genuinely relevant: 0 Number of different albums you should listen to before you die: 2 (including this one)]

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2

Not really interesting, some parts remind me of bowie

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1

This album is rubbish. I cram to understand how a sophomore album from a second rate one hit wonder made this list.

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1

This album is rubbish

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5

In my top ten albums of all time. A super nostalgic group of songs which instantly take me back. Beautiful melodies and vivid story telling. Just amazing!!

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5

Haven’t listened to it before, despite liking blue. A bit long but it’s worth.

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5

Just really enjoyed it.

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5

A great album. Every Song slaps - would listen to again

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5

Def in my top two Blur albums. Love it.

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5

Modern life IS rubbish. It was a lot better in 1993 with Mr. Blobby, Blind Date and Man Utd about to dominate. The only good thing about life now is online pornography and West Bromwich Albion's mascot, Boilerman. And we haven't been able to even see him for over a year now....apart from in online pornography.

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5

a classic

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5

Nice Blur album. Although the subjects of their songs tend to be relatable (if you're from the UK) and funny, it can sometimes feel like they do not have anything better to sing about.

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5

Neat Britpop album! No complaints, pretty strong all the way through.

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5

Blur’s best album.

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5

I've loved Damon Albarn since I got into the Gorillaz in high school. I listened to Blur a decent amount then to try and "get more of that albarn sound" and honestly didn't like it much, or didn't feel like it stood out (gorillaz are WEIRD, Blur sounds exactly like an indie rock band). But yeah, Modern life is rubbish has a lot of really fresh fun songs. I think the pacing of the album is really great and I love albarn's voice so much.

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5

A fantastic album

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5

A prefect album from start to finish.

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5

I own this album, on CD. Bought in the mid-90s I thought it was worth spending a week's allowance on. Having heard it now for the first time in 20+ years, I find myself humming For Tomorrow. For this, and almost this alone, I give the album five. I've got no problem acknowledging when my teenage musical self was "misguided", shall we say, but I just can't here. I came back to this thinking I'd find some egregious examples of crashy Britpop wank... But there isn't. There's just not. It obviously sets up britpop tropes, but each track seems to skirt around the edge of Britpop guff without succumbing. Astonishing. Albarn's vocals fits. Alex James' bass is tight. And the drumming from Dave Rowntree is stellar.

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5

Absolutely triumphant - They really were the best of Britpop

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5

"People talk about this trilogy of Modern Life is Rubbish, Parklife and The Great Escape... we didn't plan it that way" - Graham Coxon "It was, kind of, the birth of what became known as the modern Blur" - Dave Rowntree Getting rid of the baggy aesthetic that was forced upon them by their record label, Blur looked forward whilst looking back in the creation of their first great album. Anglophile musings and seething resentment of the downtrodden grunge movement spurred Blur to craft pop songs that dealt with esoteric characters and everyday dealings of life and that path would sustain (and define) them as they became the biggest band in Britain. Modern Life is Rubbish? It still is.

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5

its fuking blur

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5

Best album of Blur? Blur is not in the same league as the Auteurs, Pulp or Suede.. but this album turns out to be just as strong as I remembered (it just needed a few extra spins and un-comparison with the Gun Club album from the day before) and it even does not include Popscene...

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5

very cool

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5

My Favourite Blur Album and their best in my opinion. Others have better tracks or were more revered or sold more. From memory this one didn't fare too well at the time so it is nice to see it recognised

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4

I read on Blur’s wiki that For Tomorrow was written as a single - and that stood out to me immediately. Very strong start, in my opinion. Also a train on the cover is obviously dope. Also I’m a magical transit child as of now. Overall, I found myself taking notice of bits of songs throughout the whole album, which to me means its catching my interest enough to stick out while I’m working. My rating my also be inflated since I feel like we’ve hit a rut of albums. I could see myself really enjoying some of these songs if I spent more time with the album, which I may or may not do.

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4

Another cool post-punk pre-alternative album. I thought this one was interesting. There are times when it sounds like Bruce Springsteen, albeit with much different subject matter. It's easy to see the seeds of a lot of the music I grew up with in the 90s in this album. It goes by really fast, but every song is solid 4/5

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4

Honestly, sounds like it’s about a decade ahead of its time... Solid.

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4

Great Blur album!

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4

nice vibes. 4/5

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4

Good solid UK alt rock. Resigned is beautiful, can hear the gorillaz in there heaps.

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4

Blur really are a pretty unique band. Great big gold nuggets of pop, it feels incredibly full of poise for a second album.

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4

Really Great Britpop - some total nonsense storytelling and Damon’s younger voice has so much character.

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4

This is really good. I had heard of Blur and I'm sure I've heard some of their music but this album was all new to me. Great energy.

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4

I grew up listening to this album. I'm of the age that it was always questioned and contested who were better "Oasis" or "Blur" As I listened to both at the time, it wasn't really a question. They were both different, one Southern band and one Northern band. Being from the North I was more partial to Oasis, however it can't be stated enough the effort that goes into a band like Blur. Or any project Damon Albarn is working on, frankly. He's a man of passion, determination and creativity. I have great admiration for Blur and Damon

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4

Pretty good punk-ish indie rock. Not every song is my style, but the general sound of the album is very nice.

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4

Another Blur album I truly enjoyed! I love their sound. I think it would have been better about 10 minutes shorter, but great album!

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4

The hymn of modern life. Intermission and outro are great, like the train of life speeding up uncontrollably. Colin Zeal is funny, and could be about me

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4

Still misses something but a cracking album. Now part of my collection

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4

Good

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4

Cynical, snearing with a healthy dose of vulnerability. This one shows Blur probably in their full turn-of-the-century paranoia and misanthropy ("Advert"), mixed with a dose of sensitivity ("Blue Jeans"). Plenty of interesting chord progressions, and the characteristic twists and turns that make Blur messy, good fun. Perhaps not the same towering hits here like in albums like Parklife. Still, a wonderfully solid addition to their catalog, with consistent hooks throughout.

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4

In those hedonistic early '90s days, I bet Blur never thought their rubbish modern lives would turn out to be fat cheese maker, voice of a cartoon, Labour councilor and a quiet, speccy fella (ok, so Graham hasn't changed much). This album seems to get overlooked for some reason, maybe because it falls between Baggy There's No Otherway Blur and Britpop Parklife Blur. It's up there with their very best work though.

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4

I really like Blur, they get even better with each album. Nothing sounds quite like Blur, they're very recognisable and interesting, even the songs I don't love are interesting to hear. The sound of Albarn's voice transports me straight back to the 90s, even on their newer stuff, Blur are the 90s in my head. A fun listen.

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4

So. Long. I'm glad i listened to it. It's not my favorite genre, but it is a fucking vibe and a half and what they do, I feel they do well.

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4

I've always liked blur and this is a good set up album before Parklife

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4

this is back when people would recognise them for their musical achievements and not because they finger cheese or bum afrika. does anyone remember the afrika express? damon getting on a train with a load of africans and making some music. like womad on wheels. it had a strong stink of someone who got accused of being racist so went big trying to show everyone how much they like black people. i think he stopped short of wearing a pendant in the shape of africa, but i wouldn't be surprised if he did. this albums better than afrika express. also better than i remember.

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4

Very enjoyable listen, some underrated tracks such as Sunday Sunday and Oily Water. Just a little too much filler.

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4

The reason Modern Life Is Rubbish is such a dynamic record and ushered in a new era of British pop is that nearly every song is carefully constructed and boasts a killer melody. Even with its flaws, it's a record of considerable vision and excitement

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4

A bit too pop to my taste.

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4

Imam osjećaj da sam ovaj album najviše pokušavao slušati od Blura nakon Parklifea. Sjećam se dosta vožnje vlakom do glavnog kolodvora u ZG pa prelazak u drugi vlak pa za Vrapče, znam da su mi krepale bluetooth sluške pa sam na normalne prešo, ali nisu toliko kvalitetnog zvuka. Album kreće sa odličnom pjesmom For Tomorrow, a na ovom albumu se nalaze još par odličnih stvari kao: Advert, Chemical World, Oily Water, Colin Zeal, Sunday, Sunday. Ne znam, čini mi se da je ovaj album dosta underrated što se tiče Blura.

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4

Very good, gotta love Damon

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4

A period in Brit-pop where every band thought they could be the Beatles.

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4

Gets better after a while

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4

I have never listened to Blur before but enjoyed this album quite a bit. The range of influence that could be heard throughout was diverse and well incorporated. Overall, a great album

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4

Very good album!

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4

Aangenaam Britpop-album met veel leuke liedjes, naar het einde van het album toe zijn de nummers wat trager

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4

Good to great pop.

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4

Good album by Blur, hadn't heard any of these songs before. Mix of the upbeat high energy tunes you hear from their singles and some melodic jams.

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4

Their first great album. Like how Blur can sound kind of all over the place and very consistent at the same time. Oily Water is one of my favorite tracks of theirs.

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4

Favs: Blue Jeans, Pressure on Julian, Oily Water Mehs: Advert Blur is good, JACOB! It has Damon Albarn! Blur is basically the acoustic Gorillaz!

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4

I like it. I find it curious that I have the greatest hits compilation and none of these songs made it to that compilation. I also have the self titled album so I'm pretty familiar with Blur and I like them. And this album helps me like them more. Every song is good, they have a way with a melody and they sound so British which I love. 4 🌟

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4

7/10. Honestly pretty good, just resent that Blur made this list more times than Tom Petty

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4

Really good and unique sonic profile. A little long, which knocks it down from a 5, but Albarn is at a high point here.

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4

I was wary about this one, going into it. I have discovered I don't care much for Britpop during this project. However, I am a big fan of other work by Albarn, Gorillaz being a particular favorite of mine. Honestly, I liked it a lot! It's not gonna be a new favorite or anything, but it was great hearing him in early spunky years and cool to see an origin of the Britpop sound. I can see why they were basically the face of the genre (along with Oasis).

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4

Listened a lot when it came out It’s a great record … English as …

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4

This is such a delight of an album, I genuinely enjoyed every part of it.

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4

Knew fewer than I expected of the songs, but really enjoyed visiting early 90s London. For tomorrow, chemical world and intermission were top tracks

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4

Dour

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4

Being an American, the only Blur songs I have heard are Song 2 and Girls and Boys, neither pulled me into the broader catalog. Although my love for Gorillaz ensures that I appreciate the genius of Damon Albarn, this was the first deep listen for me. I immediately hear the direct offshoot from David Bowie's sound in the opening track "For Tomorrow" and continue to hear influences from bands like the Clash and the Kinks. This album fits perfectly into the evolution of British rock going into the mid-90s as the new wave shimmer disappears into a deep pool of more thoughtful lyricism and heavier psychedelic guitar riffs. Favorite Track: Advert or Oily Water

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4

Thoroughly enjoyed the music on this album, not so much the vocals.

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4

Better than I was expecting. Reminded me of The Jam.

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4

A lot of nostalgia going on and fascinating to see a band on the way to where you know they're going. A few classic tracks here, but still a couple that are dragging their heels.

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4

Excellent guitar work from Graham Coxon and, as a result, the first Blur album that really establishes their sound.

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4

Great album. Blur sort of personifies what was good about a lot of pop rock in that era.

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4

Mistakenly listened to 2 hr version with outtakes. Relistened. Yeh, this is definitely Blur, just without any jaunty hits. I was never big into them - but interesting to hear the 'pre going massive' album. Decent.

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4

pretty fun

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4

Enjoyable album. Few filler tracks on here but feels like an album I could listen to on a Sunday morning

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4

Lustig dass zwei Tage vorher ein anderes Britpop album war, dass ich ziemlich doof fand. Dieses hier ist das Gegenteil - creativ-innovativ, instrumental abwechslungsreich und unkonventionell, trotzdem total poppig. To-The-Point und UTTERLY BRI-ISH, INNIT? ohne nervig zu sein. macht spaß

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4

3,75. Sorpresa agradable. Tiene pinta de mejorar con las escuchas. Buen rollo, buenas melodías, y algunos pasajes que llaman mucho la atención. For tomorrow, Colin Zeal y Chemical world mis favoritas de primeras

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4

90's brit-pop meets grunge. Competent album, but without anything really standing out. But quite a bit of variation. 3.5/4, which I'll round up.

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4

8/10 really fun album, some parts were pretty proggy, other parts were more just pop stuff but overall a really fun album, favorite song was probably the Intermission after Chemical World, because it’s always a shock to hear a random album you’ve never heard before and be like ‘oh wait, I know this song’ and of course it’s from Baby Driver dude Baby Driver has introduced me to some of the coolest songs I’ve ever heard Edgar Wright sure knows how to make one hell of a playlist

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4

Pretty similiar to Park Life, which is also a really great and fun album.

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4

not bad, loathe a double album

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4

Went into this knowing a few Blur tracks. I didn’t recognize anything on this album though. It’s a good Brit rock album! Blur sounds like they are carrying forward the sort of pop from the British Invasion of the 60s. Its really listenable, catchy music unapologetically British in tone and lyrics. I very much liked listening to this album. The Britpop sound does have shades of the guitar-driven grunge movement of Blur’s contemporaries and some punk influences, but the music is shinier. There’s even a touch of the beer hall vibe in a song like “Sunday Sunday”. I find the songs quite clever in both lyrics and structure. Definitely a keeper here that I’m glad to become acquainted with. Favorite Songs: For Tomorrow, Advert, Chemical World, Sunday Sunday, Coping, Turn It Up

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4

Before today, all I knew of blur was their song from the Trainspotting soundtrack ("Sing") and the cover of their Leisure album with the lady in the flowered swim cap. I've listened to Modern Life is Rubbish many times today. It was good music to play while I worked, neither annoying nor overly distracting. And the more I listened, the more I liked. And yet, I'm finding blur very hard to pin down. Pretty much all I know for sure about them is they're British. I try not to read about the album before I write my review but I broke that rule today and that did help me make more sense of the album as an attempt to make something distinctively English, taking inspiration from Ray Davies and Paul Weller, after an unpleasant tour of the US. I can hear the essences of The Kinks and The Jam but with a 1990s sensibility, a British response to grunge. I really, really like every song on this album but there's something holding me back from loving it and I don't know what that is yet. I feel like I need more time with it. It's a solid 4 today but I can envision it inching its way up to a 5 eventually.

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4

I'm not familiar with Blur and after a couple of listens, I guess I like the album enough to keep around for future listens. I guess there is no question that it is Brit pop music here. The tracks had a quaint and non-offensive tone for me. I wasn't really head-over-heels for any track, but the album had me bopping my head enough to end up with a like.

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4

Pretty good

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4

I used to love Blur - literally had the T-shirt of this one. 15 year olds are funny though, sounds like a very different album 25 years later. Very morose and often a bit boring. Still some great tracks on there but Damon’s tone sounds as cringeworthy to me now as the idea of writing the names of your favourite band on your bag in TippEx

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4

-Cool jam bits in "Colin Zeal," "Chemical World," and "Oily Water." I especially liked the ramp up at the end of "Chemical World" -Generally kinda not-that-exciting alt/pop rock. -Weak 4

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4

As far as britpop goes, Blur is probably the peak for me. Generally speaking it's a genre I don't connect with but these Blur albums are definitely catchy and well-produced.

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4

Better than I was expecting, would listen again.

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4

Excellent

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4

Their best collection of tunes

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4

Quite enjoyed this one

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4

Yes, this is good and it's definitely got a place in the English tradition & development of pop music. But I'm not convinced it's one of the best albums ever.

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4

Blue Jeans and Chemical World are good songs.

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4

Альбом детства. Очень цельный, по душе :)

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4

3.75

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4

One can see the genesis of Gorillaz in this album. Well done.

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4

Is the title a lie? Maybe a little but the album is anything but rubbish

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4

My new favourite Blur album. I would call it the most Kinks-like of all there albums. Some beautiful slices of English life vividly described so that this non-english guy can very much appreciate the colourful characters. And this album rocks hard too and is perfectly paced to keep things fresh from beginning to end. No there's o Song 2 or Charmless Man bit it is strong from beginning to end. 4 🌟

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4

Who knew Damon Albarn was always so experimental? The dude knew how to make strange yet entertaining pop-rock with all sorts of unfamiliar sounds and witty lines. Compared to his next two Britpop records, this one rocks much harder, and its influences are too clear, making this record seem a bit less original. You'll notice "Colin Zeal" sounds like "Sleeping Gas" by Teardrop Explosions, "Miss America" sounds like "Terrapin" by Syd Barrett, "Pressure on Julian" and "Resigned" like Ride, and "Oily Water" like MBV with the swirly guitars (there's other shoegaze like "Intermission"). It's clear they're still finding their sound, but I don't think there's much wrong with that. He's taking inspiration from unconventional rock sounds that are hardly explored in other music. It knows when to be punk ("Advert"), 60s sunshiney ("Sunday Sunday"), neo-psychedelic, or grungey. The diversity is enough to keep me entertained on every track, but with an hour-length, I found myself worn out by the last few tracks. Still, the tracks are outstanding. A few "weak" ones, but when I listen to them standalone I get to appreciate them more and pick out what I enjoy the most. The stretch from "Blue Jeans" to "Miss America" has my favorite tracks. I'm a huge fan of the vocals, lyrics, guitars, punchy drums, and the million synths and percussions they use to achieve the unique effects. Production is pretty good, could be a bit improved. Favorites: For Tomorrow, Blue Jeans, Chemical World, Oily Water, Miss America, Resigned

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4

Loved it, but suffers from overlong-90s-album syndrome, so starts to sound a little repetitive in the back third

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4

One of their best, and one of the most important albums in the 90s Britpop movement. Everything starts to come together - the lush, melodic pop songs (For Tomorrow and Chemical World would surely have been huge smashes if released when Blur were already a big deal), the overtly British tunes like Sunday Sunday, the punkier numbers like Advert, and the more psychedelic, experimental tangents like Oily Water and Miss America that keep things interesting. Also, there's a particularly innocent, youthful edge to songs like Star Shaped and Blue Jeans that I really like, but was maybe eroded away somewhat in later albums. On this occasion I'll override my own personal enjoyment and nostalgia telling me to give it full marks, because, well, it's not a perfect album. 4.5 it is then.

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4

Really good stuff, Britpop and better than Oasis.

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4

Very mellow, I can see a lot of the bits here that would become Gorillaz.

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4

Was a pretty good album. Good energy.

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4

Fun. Heavy British

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4

Enjoyable. Great brit rock, good harmonies, catchy songs.

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4

love u

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4

Damon Albarn's naggy yet playful in your face we're-fucking-British vocals always amuses me. I didn't appreciate them back in the 90s, but I'm glad I gave them another chance a few years back. Solid.

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4

Some pretty creative lyrics and themes going on. I'm not totally sure how to describe the sound, since I don't normally listen to a lot of British alternative rock, but it's interesting.

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4

This is my third and final Blur album on this list, funny enough I got them in reverse order of release. While the other two were certainly more commercially popular, I think this one is my favorite of the three. It is just so musically intriguing to me. Parklife and their self titled album are just a little more alt rock and loud while this is a slightly quieter and full of interesting instrumentation. The mixing is also very well done, some of the pans on songs like the guitar intro to "Colin Zeal" starting panned hard right and then panning over to the middle and then a second guitar that is panned more left. The bass intro on that track is fantastic too. I still can't quite get over the typical Brit-Pop vocal sound though on some tracks like "Villa Rosie" it flows a lot better for my ears. Great Album!

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4

"Modern Life Is Rubbish" is the second studio album from Blur following a media backlash from their previous album "Leisure" for its fading bagging music scene (Manchester dance) and unsuccessful US tour and a change to more tradional rock-pop (Kinks, Small Faces). I found this quite good. The songs are more melodic and lush using brass, woodwinds and backing vocals. There are definitely songs that have that Blur-type sound that I'm familiar with. The lyrics are built around traditions and scenery of England and London, supposedly on purpose for lead singer Damon Albarn's dislike of the US after their last tour. The band had to record two additional songs "For Tomorrow" and "Chemical World" after their Food record company owner David Balfe (of The Teardrop Explodes) initially rejected the album and told them he thought the album was artistic suicide. Wow. Hindsight. I thought one of the highlights was the exceptional, unique guitar playing of Graham Coxon. This album is considered on of the defining albums of Britpop. The album begins with the first single and song they wrote for the record company to release the record, "For Tomorrow." It's very poppy and peppy. Strings. Background vocals. Nice production. It seems to be kind of a montage of London. One of the highlightlighr for me is "Pressure on Julian." It's an obvious dig on The Teardrop Explodes' Julian Cope and especially their record label owner David Balfe. Just excellent and weird guitar by Coxon, sounding like the frickin' Jesus Lizard. It's pyschdelic and also reminds me of the Kinks, Pink Floyd and heck even The Teardrop Explodes...lol. "Chemical World" was the second single and appears to be about drugs and their use detaching one from the world/reality. Straight-forward pop-rock guitar and song. A kind of weird music hall/ vaudeville instrumental ends the song. Their third single "Sunday Sunday" has a nice guitar start. Albarn seems to be poking fun at older generations' nostalgic memories. Defintely Britpop and kind of Beatles-esque. It changes tempo and almost sounds a roller rink with the organ at the end. I enjoyed this album. It is the first of a trilogy of albums known as the Life or English Trilogy. I probably like of a few of Blur's later albums better. And at 58 minutes this is a long listen probably due to them recording two more songs. Maybe it was to piss off their record company. I doubt Blur gave a shit

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4

Pretty good. Listened while marking homework.

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4

pretty good shit. overall the vibe is there, and the two main instrumental bits give it a nice lil structure BUT the opener is so weak and they use lalala in two separate songs. i was alr disappointed with one. also the mix was a lil off on like 1or2 songs, the lower harmony and guitar were sorta clashing. otherwise, the run from blue jeans to villa rosie is pretty clean. and i’m a big fan of chemical world, miss america and the closer. solid 4

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4

I think this is the first album in this series so far that I've listened to twice, really enjoyed it! I've always been a fan of Blur but until now I've only really listened to their singles and greatest hits. Going into this album knowing it was influenced by The Kinks makes a lot of sense and gave it good context. Some really solid songwriting here and a lot of memorable songs. It's a shame this album has been somewhat overshadowed by their Parklife era which followed.

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4

Great. solid

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4

I'm not sure why I liked this so much. The sound isn't particularly lush, though it does a lot with a rather standard band. None of the lyrics leaped to mind. However, the sequencing did a lot of work and my overall impression is of Blur as nineties inheritors of the Kinks, deservedly.

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4

One of Blur's better albums imo, some amazing songs here.

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4

A decent bridge between Blur's debut and Parklife. Modern Life is the sound of the band in transition. They managed to ditch the baggy sound they had been lumped in with, and started to develop as songwriters. The comparisons with The Kinks are obvious, both in subject matter and style. The singles of course stand out. For Tomorrow, Chemical World and Sunday Sunday are Student Indie Disco defined. A great album to drink pints of cherry brandy and cider to.

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4

Really nice album, lots of unique sounds and nice vibes

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4

I enjoyed this album, it was good background rock music and my dad also owns an album by Blur

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3

I've heard some later blur so this could be interesting. Thoughts: it's really.... English? Like they seem determined to capture the full spectrum of "British rock sounds" from song to song. Some of it sounds beatles-y or maybe the kinks, some queen, the Smiths introspective kinda style, couple of quaint interlude type arrangements from English prog, alt rock like Oasis made huge a few years later, etc. And the lyrics/vocals are hamming it up. It's not too bad though, can't fault the songwriting. Honestly this is a nice one-off listen but it's a bit too English for me to listen to again, it reminds me of summers where you need a jacket. 3/5.

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3

neat album, but honestly, it was a blur

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3

I thought this album was perfectly fine. It did seem pretty derivative of some other British rock bands I've heard before. I liked how the album was themed and I thought the lyrics were pretty clever.

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3

Nifty tunes. I liked the guitar work and the casual feel of it all. 3.5

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3

Not a huge Damon albarn fan but this one was heavy enough that I was digging it at times

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3

A truer sentence has never been uttered since

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3

As said previously, I think my mood influences how receptive I am to listening. Blur wouldn't be my choice of band but this album may grow on me if I were to give it a couple of plays. 2.9/5

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3

eh

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3

Pretty decent Britpop album, "Star Shaped" is very catchy but some of the songs end up being just okay

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3

great piece of 90s britpop, little bit longwinded though but the highlights are great

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3

Decent album, starts out very strong the first third or quarter but then slows down and ends up being 15-20 minutes too long

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3

Album was good. Really liked the guitar (electric guitar?) riff on Pressure on Julian.

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3

British Pop? Mir gefällt der Gesang nicht. Nicht die Qualität, sondern die Energie. Britischer Humor in musikalischer Form? Dafür hör ich wahrscheinlich keine Musik und bin wahrscheinlich gerade (wenn überhaupt irgendwann) nicht in der Stimmung. Ich hör später nochmal weiter. Nee, immer noch abgetan. Musikalisch weiterhin gut, aber der Flair der Stimmen stört mich.

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3

3.5; great 90s alt rock, bit of psych in there. good fun

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3

Not too bad. The album is consistently decent throughout, with a few worthwhile standouts, including the album's opener, 'For Tomorrow'. That said, I wouldn't be listening to this album again anytime soon.

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3

It was no Song #2, but I enjoyed parts of it

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3

Mix between chill cruising rock music and psychedelic sounding jams. Overall pretty happy and positive vibes.

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3

Decent Album, Very 90's and while not jaw dropping by any means it was an easy listening album and i listened to both cds and thought they were okay

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3

Agradable escuchar de nuevo tan rápido Britpop y del bueno, no es ni por asomo el mejor disco de Blur pero ya se comienza a notar el cambio que van a tener. Damon Albarn tuvo que evolucionar mucho durante Blur para llegar a crear lo que es Gorillaz

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3

strange that this made the list. i didnt recognise any songs

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3

Blur es de los grupos de britpop que me agradaban, sin embargo en mi opinión mejoraron muchísimo cuando se alejaron del estilo y comenzaron a hacer música en otros estilos e incluso a experimentar (incluso sin tomar en cuenta que todo lo que Damon Albarn hizo en Blur palidece comparado a todo lo que subió al hacer Gorillaz). Incluso de los discos francos de britpop que tienen Parklife es el que se me hace mucho superior al resto y que, seguramente, se encuentra en esta lista. Esto me lleva a cierta reflexión sobre esos sesgos raros de esta lista en cuanto a que, o va a haber demasiados discos de Blur, o se va a centrar en poner algún par centrados a britpop y se va a ignorar cosas como el disco 13 o Think Tank que son mucho más interesantes. Hablando de este disco propiamente, creo es un disco que pocas personas recuerdan realmente (de entrada yo no recordaba el 80% de las canciones a pesar de haberlo tenido en algún momento en mis listas hace años). Nos presenta un pop rock medio psicodélico que hay que decirlo y es muy notorio... es básicamente una copia del sonido de los Kinks. En cuanto a letras lamentándose de la vida moderna cual buen britpop, hablando en varias canciones de esos puntos y costumbres hartamente británicos que a veces cuadran y uno se puede relacionar y a veces simplemente son demasiado locales. En realidad siento que el disco no tiene mucho sobresaliente, pero sí es agradable de escuchar y las canciones terminan siendo buenas. Lo que también es muy cierto es que con una duración de una hora se siente un poco largo y seguro que se podía recortar digamos al menos a 40-45 y se sentiría mucho mejor. Muy buen disco pero en mi opinión para nada un clásico como para estar aquí.

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3

Ja cool, aber länger als n Tarantino Film - 3

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3

Nothing really stood out, but in general found some good vibes. Just not my scene. Felt very much like Proto Arctic-Monkeys, which makes sense. Not something I'd put on again by choice, but I respect the influence Blur, and Damon Albarn in particular has had especially with projects like Gorillaz after Blur.

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3

Album correct, je vois la tendance brit pop et aussi un peu rock. 3.15

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3

Desde que empieza con "For tomorrow" está claro el sonido Blur. También me ha gustado "Colin Zeal". Interesante y lo volveré a escuchar seguro.

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3

I liked it.

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3

eh it's fine. I think I'll be ok only associating Blur with Song 2 and nothing else

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3

Always been a big Gorillaz guy, but never got into Blur other "Song 2" of course. I didn't dislike anything here but I also never really fully got into it. Really solid catchy alternative songs, and I liked the fact they made this as a stick it to Americanization album. I could see the heart of that Gorillaz "lets play a bunch of styles and see what sticks," ethos. They had some songs that were a little punk, some straight forward rock, and the circus/vaudeville interstitial tracks. Pretty solid album through and through, but if I want Damon Albarn I'll be sticking to Gorillaz.

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3

I was really excited to listen to this. Don’t know much about Blur, but always hoped they were a slightly more roc version of the Stone Roses - a band I really like. There are moments here, but wasn’t the supercool nugget I was hoping for. That said, I’ll likely dive more deeply into the Blur catalog when I get a chance.

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3

Signs of things to come but this is no classic

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3

TRAIN! Enjoy the sound in general, but nothing stands out as one of the top 1001 albums to listen to before you die. Maybe this is an example of the Britpop genre in general. Hidden tracks were a cool bit, especially with Intermission being in Baby Driver (which it fit well). Would be happy to have these tracks come on the radio or a shuffle playlist but wouldnt seek them out. 3.5 but rounding down

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3

Some good stuff. The vocals kind of wear on me a little.

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3

Sounds of a time, some of the lesser known tracks were nice surprises.

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3

Geweldige stem, maar ze moeten hier hun vorm nog een beetje vinden.

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3

Nog zeker niet zo goed als de latere albums en nog teveel jengelende Brit-pop, maar prima aan te horen.

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3

Super 90s uk alt rock album

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3

prefer later Blur, this is not quite there yet

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3

Favourite Songs: Pressure on Julian & SundaySunday

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3

Creo que está bien, pero no sé, algo no me convence de este estilo de música. :(

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3

Never heard of blur but enjoyed the album. Gave me the shins vibes at points

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3

some good tunes on this like for tomorrow, advert, colin zeal, star shaped, and blue jeans... the rest left a bit to be desired though. i'm definitely gonna check out the rest of their discography soon.

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3

Some nice songs but very generic indie. Nothing particularly interesting.

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3

It's ok, but a bit forgettable. Nothing really notable that stands out, but nothing bad about it either, easy to listen to.

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3

Eh, this album is okay. Nothing great, nothing terrible. A couple of tracks stand out. My favorite is the second half of Chemical World.

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3

I’m starting to wonder if there are any good albums on this list.

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3

Por fin un album dentro de mi círculo de comfort (hace rato que no tocaba uno). 3/5

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3

Rocks more than I remember, is absolutely bursting with ideas. Def announced them as a major band, albeit an almost alienatingly british band, but is overlong and not as great as their albums eventually get despite having some excellent canonical highlights

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3

Meandering

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3

Brit pop has always been fun to me. Grew up through the explosion, so listened to a lot of Blur pre-Song 2 infamy. This one is alright. Fairly straightforward, nothing pushing the boundaries like Parklife did, which is still one of my favourite Blur tracks. Enjoyable to listen to. Nostalgic for me.

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3

Very XTC. Way too long. Decent. 6/10

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3

At least double the last album... more like 3.2 - 3.5

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3

This was the album before Blur got good. It's all a bit derivative. A pound shop Ray Davies.

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3

This Blur album didn’t do as much for me as the other. Damn. Still ok though.

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3

3.5

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3

It's good, has essence of gorillaz, no hits on this album tho

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3

it was okay!!!! i struggle a bit with this side of damon albarns work. but was good!!!

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3

It's hard to explain, but however this album and "Parklife" have just 1 year of difference, this album is far away from the quality that I got listening to "Parklife". The album itself is fun. They have a lot of good experimentation and the songs are fine.

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3

I liked this marginally more than Parklife, but it has the same issue where parts of it sound like they were intentionally designed to be obnoxious. 6/10

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3

3/5 enormous album, but didn't make the cut.

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3

Helt ok

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3

listened 3 out of 5 - mix bag

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3

This is not one of the Blur albums that I had previously listened to start to finish. I knew the singles and they hold up. I enjoyed the tracks that were new to me but, it was a week ago that I listened to this record, and I have already forgotten them all.

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3

I've been interested in checking out more Blur for a while because British TV shows have led me to believe that the band was much more popular in the UK. I thought it was fine, but didn't love the style.

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3

Blur to long but not that bad

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3

Ok. I preferred the great escape

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3

I was hoping for a bit more out of this one, especially after my exposure to britpop earlier on the list. It's not bad, and Sunday Sunday was giving me Supergrass vibes(I Should Coco which came out 2 years later than this album), which I really liked. But, overall as an album I found it a bit uninspiring and homogeneous. Might be my favorite album cover though!

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3

Nicht meine Blut-Phase

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3

Chemical world is a banger but cant save the whole album

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3

3.5 Stars. Pretty dynamic pop rock record with really nice melodies throughout the album. The songwriting is really strong in this album; the lyrics reflect social satires and commentary on his "hatred" for life, as the title suggests. The album is an hour long, and the second half does fall off a bit for me. Favorite tracks: For Tomorrow, Colin Zeal, Star Shaped, Sunday Sunday, Villa Rosie.

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3

Classic rock album, Fav songs Chemical World, Blue Jeans, For Tomorrow

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3

6/10

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