BLUR – In the mid-nineties we had far more hype than substance; this was true of Politics as well as music. The whole music scene was tired; the bands of the Sixties and Seventies were touring huge stadiums and the only new music was Dance Music, which to many of us slightly older people seemed impenetrable; it was simply a groove (which of course was the point – we still longed for melodies and meaningful lyrics). Cool Brittania came along with a new generation of brash new bands – the two leading of which were Blur and Oasis. And just as in the Sixties, we were expected to choose. I disliked the Gallagher brothers attitude and arrogance, and so gravitated (with little enthusiasm) towards Blur. I bought and taped their second album ‘Modern Life is Rubbish’ – I can’t really remember much about it. The follow-up 1994’s Parklife was much bigger and better. Almost a concept album (of which I have always been a sucker for) it is a celebration of lad culture, another sad phenomenon of the nineties. Musically it is quite varied, slow ballad ‘To The End’ and rocky ‘Girls and Boys’ and of course ‘Parklife’ itself with Phil Daniels doing a cockney commentary over the chorus. The album is almost worth it for that song….but it didn’t really last. I wasn’t inspired to buy any other Blur albums, except one I picked up in a charity shop Thinktank (2003). Well, dull is not quite the word for this. The band were in the doldrums; this was their last effort before they broke up (only to reform 10 years later and undertake a lucrative re-union World Tour). This is the sound of a bunch of millionaires sitting around and fulfilling a recording contract. They didn’t even seem that interested in coming up with any decent songs at all. Not sure I won’t return it to same charity shop.
So….Blur? They were simply a blur in the History of Popular Music. A minor distraction which barely left a trace. Pity, they could have been half-decent.