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Blur

Blur

1997

Buy At Rough Trade
Blur
Album Summary

Blur is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Blur, released on 10 February 1997 by Food Records. Blur had previously been broadly critical of American popular culture and their previous albums had become associated with the Britpop movement, particularly Parklife, which had helped them become one of Britain's leading pop acts. After their previous album, The Great Escape, the band faced media backlash and relationships between the members became strained. Under the suggestion of the band's guitarist, Graham Coxon, the band underwent a stylistic change, becoming influenced by American indie rock bands such as Pavement. Recording took place in London as well as in Reykjavík, Iceland. Drummer Dave Rowntree described the music on the album as being more aggressive and emotional than their previous work. Producer Stephen Street claimed that lead singer-songwriter Damon Albarn had started writing about more personal experiences while Coxon revealed that listening to his lyrics it was clear to him that "he'd obviously gone off his head a bit more". Despite worries from Blur's label, EMI, and the music press that the change in style would alienate the band's predominantly teenage fanbase and that the album would flop as a result, Blur, as well as lead single, "Beetlebum", reached the top of the UK charts and the album was certified platinum. The album also reached the top 20 in six other countries. The success of "Song 2" led to Blur becoming the band's most successful album in the US where the Britpop scene had been largely unsuccessful. The album received positive reviews from most music critics, many praising the stylistic change as well as Albarn's songwriting. This is the last album to featured longtime producer Stephen Street, until his return for The Magic Whip (2015).

Wikipedia

Rating

3.35

Votes

12546
Genres
Rock
Britpop
Indie

Reviews

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Mon Jul 04 2022
2

Sometimes I’ll listen to an old album like this and wonder why I’ve only heard one song from it. In this case I know exactly why. The only good song is the one I’ve already heard (Song 2).

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

Just what I needed to hear right now. Sounds like they are really having fun in the studio with this one. Love how Blur can be kind of all over the place soundwise and yet it still feels like a cohesive album. Like it could be a soundtrack to a movie, having to cover this whole broad range of moods/emotions/tones for different scenes. Something to aspire to in my opinion. To me, in the 90s (and only in the 90s), Blur is the silver to Radiohead's gold in the arena of British rock music. And while I do think Radiohead is ultimately the greater band on many levels, I feel Blur is somewhat more versatile and that counts for something. Listened to special edition with bonus tracks.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

Blur is a band I've only heard a few songs of but always wanted to dig a bit deeper into. Song 2 I've heard a ton of, it sounds so 90s and captures that Nirvana-esque angst. I heard the rest of their stuff is a bit different, and so far I'm liking it! Some really cool guitar stuff on this album too. Like that stuttery-effect on M.O.R. and the glitch guitar on On Your Own. I also like the singalong/gang vocals a lot. Reminds me a bit of some of our RCE energy actually. "Movin' On" 2:42 sounds just like the Atari Punk Console from our songs! It might be a super fuzzed out guitar though, hard to know! "Essex Dogs" intro with the drums coming in is siiick. It has the same Hot Team synth glide! This song even has a long freaky guitar part. I love this one. On the Special Edition, some of the b-sides definitely sound jammy like Hot Team do. If Blur used a drum-machine instead of live drums, I think you could make a case that RCE ripped off Blur. This album is just fun energy, but has some interesting technical things going on as well.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
3

Beetlebum is probably Blur’s finest moment and one of the best songs of the decade. The stabbing guitar, liquid bass line, heavy drum sound playing over the outro is sublime. Song 2 will always be a classic, thrilling track. But for me the rest of the album just doesn’t hold up. I like that they moved in a different direction and the intent with sonic experimentation was fine but it just doesn’t work overall. Some songs rip off Pavement; some rip off Bowie; some rip off old Blur (Look Inside America is a slowed down Country House!). And Damon … as a frontman, I’ve never been convinced he’s enjoying being a rock star. There’s an archness, a distance, a sneer in his lyrics and vocals that at times disconnects me from the music. He’s singing songs about his observances of life around him; he’s at his best when he’s singing from the heart. I want to like this album more but it’s not for me.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
3

Just alright. They’re no oasis that’s for sure.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
2

This album was heavily promoted and toured so it's no wonder why they chose to place this Blur album on the list. However, there are other, read BETTER, albums by this band and I'm not even a big fan. Song 2 is most notoriously used pretty much whenever your favorite team scores a goal or cuts to a commercial break, but even then it's only about a three second blip. Some may not know that this was originally used in the blockbuster (I use that term loosely) epic Starship Troopers. Listening to this more than twenty years later, the album is a chore to get through, even Look Inside America, the song that IMO was underutilized on the airwaves lacks luster today. To make matters worse, the 'special edition' which is hard to avoid on Spotify includes more than two hours of material. It burns a little to say, but even with some background on the band, it's difficult to get into this album. The long drawn out repetitions and the lyrics delivered with phone-it-in laziness is a huge turn off. The success of this album relies too heavily on the fans of previous work. I can't imagine what it's like listening to this for the first time. Hugely disappointing.

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Thu May 05 2022
2

Song 2? More like Album 2 (out of 5(rating))

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! ST PAULI! ST PAULI! ST PAULI! ST PAULI! Sorry, drifted off there, it's good that one though innit? The rest of the album is great too. Blur's best in my humble opinion.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

Blur innit. WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! ST PAULI! ST PAULI! ST PAULI! ST PAULI!

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Sat Jun 25 2022
5

Possibly the best Blur album, depends what you like. It's not as Brit Pop as Parklife/The Great Escape but I think it sounds a lot better - musically more substantial. Beetlebum is a fantastic opener, Song 2 is overplayed to death but if you squint, you can still see the appeal. Other highlights include the mournful Death of a Party, Strange News From Another Star, Coxon's bittersweet solo 'You're so Great' and the Bowie aping On Your Own. It's a bit of a bridge to the far more experimental 13 and Think Tank, plus you can see elements of Gorillaz in some of Damon's vocals. It could just be the sweet spot between everything they've done and everything they'd go on to do.

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Sun Jun 25 2023
3

Musically clever and nuanced with a nice variety from song to song. The risk of going stylistically diverse of course is that you risk sounding unfocused. There's a bit of that happening here, but the album is anchored by some pretty solid songs. Had the band dropped 2-3 of them, this would have been a much tighter album. Fave Songs: Song 2, Country Sad Ballad Man, Beetlebum, Death of a Party, Strange News from Another Star, Look Inside America

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Sat Oct 14 2023
3

Started out great. Song 2 slaps so hard. I noticed it had the same riff of the Nirvana song Smells Like Team Spirit which is one of the slim few songs from them I like. Other than that, none of the other songs really spoke to me. Most of the songs were just pretty okay. “Chinese Bombs” felt really out of place. Distortions don’t work for me if it’s the entire song. Good thing it was a short. Overall it was fine. I’m not really big into 90s indie rock. 6/10

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Mon Apr 01 2024
3

Brit-rock trying to be American Indie.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
2

Well, Song 2 I've heard before. I would have guessed this was Weezer maybe based on that song alone. This feels like the 90s. The album as a whole has some bad songs on it but I clearly am not the target demo for this. As of this album, I'm instituting my rating system as follows: 1*: terrible, no redeeming value that I could find, or just not my thing at all. 2*: I can see the reason this is on the list, it's well produced or influential or whatever, but I can't imagine listening again. 3*: this is OK. I might listen again if it came up in a random playlist. Or, I don't like it but it has extremely good productions or is hugely influential or something. 4*: I like this. I would listen again. Good music. 5*: This is amazing and is now in semi-regular rotation. Changed the way I listen/taught me something/cured major disease.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
2

This a very light 3. Every song starts off strong af and then doesn’t go anywhere.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
2

4/10. Despite the fact that I read the title of the first track, I thought the guy was saying "Pedo Bob" for the first few verses. Otherwise, the album was long, uneventful, and quite forgettable.

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Tue Apr 12 2022
2

Disappointing. I really loved Parklife - lots of varied melody and creativity. This one can only be described as abrasive; in music and vocals. The ubiquitous "Song 2" has always been a bit obnoxious outside of a sporting chant and unfortunately it's probably the most catchy of the lot. I don't have anything creative to add - maybe would add boring. Pass on this, focus on their earlier work for sure. 3/10 2 stars.

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Sat May 28 2022
2

Had never listened to a Blur album before (although obviously know quite a few of the singles). Song 2 always transports me back to 1998 and playing the world cup Fifa game (think that was the one where they had the indoor mode too)? Overall, though, decidedly underwhelmed. Maybe there's a better Blur album out there (there must be, surely?), but if there's not then I've no idea how Blur vs Oasis was even close. 2/5.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
2

I thought it was going to be good, bud in the end it was all just a big blur

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Fri Sep 09 2022
2

1 good song, the rest was just really loose and jumbled noise to me.

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Thu Oct 20 2022
2

Boring as britpop - isn't that a saying? ;-) Well, at least Blur is better than Oasis, they do occasionally make a good song

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Sun Jan 29 2023
2

First two songs were bangers, the rest of the album was kind of a... blur...

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Tue May 09 2023
2

I guess they were onto something with the 2-minute pop single. This got too long pretty quick!

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Tue Jun 06 2023
2

Woo hoo! was fun. The rest was bad.

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Mon Jun 12 2023
2

I had a pretty negative reaction to this album. It’s too long, I’m a bit burnt out on this genre, and the lyrics didn’t do enough to hold my attention. That long song at the end felt especially brutal.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
2

So let me get this straight…Blur hears Wowee Zowee by Pavement, Clouds Taste Metallic by the Flaming Lips, some Guided By Voices records, maybe a Fall record or two, does their best to emulate those bands and we should find it impressive? Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more try-hard attempt at a Guided By Voices song as “You’re So Great” - complete with faux tape crackle. I literally can’t get over how they put a sample of tape crackle over that song… In the time it took them to make that sample, record their parts and put the effects on the vocals to make it sound “lo-fi”, they could have just run down to the British equivalent of Guitar Center, bought a Tascam 4-track and recorded the song on it in one take with an overdub or two and it would have been more authentic, replete with actual tape hiss and crackle. This album is a joke….a practical joke that got out of hand. It has to be.

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Wed Feb 01 2023
1

This album does not belong on a "must listen before you die" list under any circumstances - Its really mid. Theres like one top 10 track and the rest is totally forgettable, damon-albarn-fucking-around-on-a-mixer stuff. 1/5

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Sat Oct 14 2023
1

The best part about Blur is that they died to give us the Gorillaz. One song would end and I had already completely forgotten it. If you look up the definition of ‘generic’ it just says Blur. Once again these songs are way too damn long. I waited for a hidden banger but alas, said banger never came. I don’t like Song 2. I don’t like this album. If held at gunpoint and told to pick my favorite song from this album, I would die. 2/10

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Sat Oct 14 2023
1

Man it's just not very good now is it? The first two songs are leagues above the rest and they aren't very amazing either. Half of these songs are playing incorrect notes on purpose and I guess I'm supposed to think it's artsy? Stop with the Blur.

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Wed Oct 14 2020
5

Just the classic britpop come-down album. Amazing!

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Thu Nov 05 2020
5

Album da músicA YUUUUHUULLL

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Tue Apr 06 2021
5

Damon so good. Been a while since I’ve peeped thix

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

10/5 stars. I haven't listened to this album in probably 15 years. Good music like this always reminds me of Megan Robbin, who was my musical awakener. I will be downloading this album on pandora.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

Good album. Grunge rock classic

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Definitely some hits I've been sleeping on. Love the Gorrilaz, but have only ever listened to surface level blur songs.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Some of the best britpop. Love the organ on Theme from Retro.

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Sun May 30 2021
5

This is an iconic album that really goes all over the place. Song 2 is such a big one for me personally and a specific time in my life. I’m biased, but aren’t we all?

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

First 5 star. Forgot how good this album was. Years ago, always on the oasis side of the blur Vs oasis arguement. Oasis didn't have an album as good as this

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

Loved it when it came out and it still sounds great today.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

Such a varied album. Psychedelic moments, electronic elements, straight up acoustic songwriting, rock, punk, hiphop beats, fun singalong vibes but also some slightly more challenging/experimental songs. This is why Blur are one of the best British bands of all time and why this album is one of their finest. It also resonated heavily in the US and is a favourite of the band themselves. 10/10

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

My favourite Blur album for lots of reasons. So many good tunes on here that turned my attention away from Oasis and towards Blur. Beetlebum is probably my favourite Blur song if I were to think about it, and it sets the tone for the whole album. Can’t give it anything other than 5 stars.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
5

Mijn favoriete Blur album! Hier kwamen ze echt los van dat 'Britpop' stempel en kwam er veel meer diepgang en experiment in de muziek. Erg fijne plaat.

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Wed May 26 2021
5

The album which showed that Blur could do more than just Brit-Pop (and could actually evolve unlike some other band at that time).

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Not much to say, classic Blur.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

This album came out the same week as Pavement's Brighten the corners. The two best indie albums of the decade in my view, and both share a sonic signature. It was definitely Pavement influencing Blur rather than the other way around, but it doesn't matter. This is my favourite Blur album by a country mile, and just edges Pulp's "a different class" for best britpop album

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

Man, I have really slept on this band, this album slaps. I also learned something new today (i.e. Gorillaz)

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Tue Feb 22 2022
5

Sticks in you like a burr. Bull-at-a-gate kind of energy, which I enjoyed very loudly on a road trip

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

really enjoyed this. good album and will listen again

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Sat Apr 16 2022
5

More eclectic and willing to experiment than MLIR, and I really feel it benefited from it. I can even hear some underpinnings of what would become Gorillaz sounds in here. Not to mention Damon Albarn really comes out as a great songwriter. Great record.

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Tue May 17 2022
5

A band really hitting their stride with this album. A brave move away from Brit-Pop that really delivers.

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Mon Jun 13 2022
5

favs: - strange news from another star - beetlebum - country sad ballad man - you're so great - death of a party - song 2 - m.o.r.

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Sat Jul 23 2022
5

Удивительно странный, но очень классный альбом.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Este es un disco fundacional para mí. Beetlebum fue una obsesión y Song 2 una canción inescapable durante ese año.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

So why was the blur/oasis thing even a thing? This album is fkn gold. Also how did we not know Damon albarn was gorillaz. I have a 2 disc version of this with some great bonus stuff, definitely gonna dig it out again. I recently read that when Malkmus left pavement the other guys were largely relieved cos they weren’t that good at being musicians, I wonder how the rest of blur feel post blur. Didn’t know I’d been missing this one, it’s not faith no more’s the real thing, but it’s certainly one of the greats

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Sat Sep 10 2022
5

This is 1000 times better than that twee stuff they farted out when Britpop was a thing. (In England, mind you. Here in Oz we liked Oasis, but Blur and Pulp? Nah.) It rocks in places, there is homage paid to psychedelic Beatles, and a couple of tracks score quite highly on the weird shit-o-meter. Great stuff. Much better than I thought it would be. Woohoo!

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Brilliant, really reminds me of being a teenager back when it was out. Some big hits (in the UK at least), including song 2, but i think some of the lo-fi low key tracks are my favourites.

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Sat Oct 22 2022
5

I love this album definitely blurs best one of their longest but the only one that doesn’t drag for a minute. Obviously (like most albums) the album is known for a couple of hits starting with the 1,2 punch of the drowning beetlebum followed by song 2 a mockery of grunge that actually sounds like the best grungy song of the 1990’s. M.O.R (like what it stands for) is a middle of the road track that stolen so much from David Bowie that blur had to add him as a writer. On your own is the ultimate party with one of the catchiest choruses on the album. All of this happens within the first 5 songs so on the surface level this could be seen as front loaded but some of these non singles really make this album special in particular : You’ve got the beautiful you’re so great filled to to the brim with little crackles and pops like it’s been on a record player. Death of a party provides a dark side to the album that only gets more prominent as time goes on, with a riveting bass line and a darkly memorable hook. Strange news from another star reminds me of early 70’s David bowie and serves as my personal favourite track; the track ends in a rampaging march intro the punky moving on before going into the spoken word closer Essex dogs a very off putting but unique song. The other tracks certainly each provide a new layer to the album and blurs career going away from a greater but catchy Britpop singles act to a dark album track act showing their verity in a consistent album definitely deserves a 5!

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Sat Nov 05 2022
5

9/10 there’s some really, really good moments here I did get a little bored with the pop but I really loved it for the most part

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

it says a lot that the song done entirely as a joke on the of-the-moment alternative rock is one of the better alternative rock songs of its era blur albums are like episodes of seinfeld. they're not really about anything, and nothing really happens. that's completely alright, because damon albarn is really good at putting together an album that doesn't say much, doesn't do much, but is still really enjoyable. it's kind of wild that blur was pitted up against oasis back in the day, but none of these songs other than song 2 are the cultural staples that songs like wonderwall and don't look back in anger are today. there's no one playing beetlebum or on your own on an acoustic guitar at a party, even though both of those songs are better than wonderwall blur is cool. they've always been cool, and they'll probably be cool forever. there's a very kinks-ian "i don't care" kind of attitude to so much of their music, but they're a little more innovative than their equally pompous predecessors.

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Mon Dec 19 2022
5

I unexpectedly, quite unexpectedly, LOVED this album!

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Tue Dec 20 2022
5

This was great. I've listened to a couple of songs by Blur, but didn't hear the similarities with Gorillaz and make the connection that there is an overlap in members. I went on to listen to all of the Blur albums and it was fantastic.

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Tue Jan 24 2023
5

At a time when I seriously thought Blur were going to either call it a day or deliver another Brit Pop follow up to Great Escape, they go head and release what is my second favourite album of theirs. Definitely their most ambitious and successful album. Sure Song 2 got a flogging but it is a fun tune which is world's away from Country House but a natural sequel to Popscene.

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Mon Jan 30 2023
5

I like Blur. I like this Blur album. This is one of my most played albums my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. Always happy when Blur comes on.

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Mon Jan 30 2023
5

Song 2 is great even if it was overplayed for a while. The rest of this album works for me. I thought it was funny reading the wiki that it was influenced by Pavement.

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Sun Feb 12 2023
5

Best: Beetlebum Worst: Essex Dogs woooooooohoo

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Wed Mar 08 2023
5

An excellent indie britpop classic. There's some heavy bias towards one song in particular for me, but generally this was just great. It felt like both a mixed-bag jam session and a cohesive album. I think this is one of those albums I certainly need to seek out on physical media as it's just a classic. Favourite: Song 2

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Sat Mar 11 2023
5

Brilliant segue album between „Oily waters“ of the past. Not „The Great Escape“ in total from everything that defined Blur so far but at least a two sided head facing also towards more experimental approaches of the following up Pop-deconstruction on „13“. 4.6

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Tue Mar 14 2023
5

Great album, nice to hear again

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Sat Mar 25 2023
5

Beetlebum has always been one of my favorites, but this was the first time I had listened to this whole album. I enjoyed every single song, and liked it more that I expected. So many of these tracks are hauntingly charming. Fave track(s): Beetlebum, Song 2, On Your Own, Death of A Party

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

Me gustó mucho, me gusta la variedad de sonidos y la mezcla de instrumentos y sonidos del rock con los toques electrónicos y efectos de voz, me dio ganas de seguir escuchando

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Mon Apr 24 2023
5

Cool album, really big in the 90s

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Fri May 19 2023
5

I am a big fan of early Gorillaz albums, and all throughout this self-titled record by Blur I couldn't hear anything else other than demo recordings from the cartoon-band (plus Song No.2, which is a great addition on its own, from the early days of Fifa, up to gym session yesterday it keeps me company for the better or worse). I have to say, I just really like Damon Albarn's vocal, he is one of those pop/rock singers that I can just listen to anytime, even if the instrumental parts are total garbage - and in case of Blur, they are on the other end of spectrum. I love songs like "Beetlebum" and "Essex Dogs". Both aren't alike, but both have that quality of slow introduction, leading into a bigger or smaller eruption of noise. Great guitar work as always, thanks to the mighty Graham Coxon. Probably this is my favourite Blur album, but still it's not as good as Demon Days. In general, I would give it a weak 5 stars.

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Tue Jul 18 2023
5

DIG IT. Such a fun mix of feelings and sounds

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

Oh wow. So timely. Been reconnecting with Blur a lot recently. This album was HUGE the year I started uni, in fact it became an obsession of mine. Beetlebum was the song that served as my gateway Blur drug, and Song 2, despite being overplayed, is still a mad headbanger. I saw Blur twice in Sydney in a couple of days, the second concert at the Hordern we managed to catch Dave's drumstick after it flew into the audience during Song 2. I still don't know what happened to that, I had it for years. We managed to blag our way into the after party in Kings Cross, and I sidled up to Graham Coxon at the bar, and what did I say? 'Great guitar Graham'. Damn what a loser. Oh and the album is a real mixed bag, some I love, some I'm a bit indifferent, but as a package and a statement and a disc full of memories, this has to get full marks.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

Absolutely timeless classic. I had a girlfriend who's brother was Blur crazy before this record was released. I didn't really get it. This album changed that for sure. I saw them live on this tour in Sydney, apparently Tom was at the show too. Graeme using a theremin on stage blew my mind. I'm going to listen to this again now. See ya.

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Sat Aug 05 2023
5

MOREEEEE: I love blur and it’s been like this a long time. I find their music full of passion and just slaps perfectly. As amazing as Oasis are Blur will always be better (+ Damon Alburn is the Gorrilaz man). Beautiful album full of bangers and passion. Would listen again and again.

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Tue Sep 05 2023
5

Wow what s great record! When I first listened to it I was already amazed but this time it just blew me away!

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Wed Sep 20 2023
5

Really liked this album. I have heard Song 2 3,443,679 times on the radio, just today. But have never heard any other songs by Blur. If I had heard this album when it came out and I was a teenager, it very well could have been one of my favorites.

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Mon Oct 09 2023
5

Fucking love the 90s. I dont care what you say. "It's not my problem" - Damon Albarn WOOOO-HOOOO!

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