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Blur [Special Edition]
     

Blur [Special Edition]

by Blur
 

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The Great Escape, for all of its many virtues, painted Blur into a corner and there was only one way out -- to abandon the Brit-pop that they had instigated by bringing the weird strands that always floated through their music to the surface. Blur may superficially appear to be a break from tradition, but it is a logical progression

Overview

The Great Escape, for all of its many virtues, painted Blur into a corner and there was only one way out -- to abandon the Brit-pop that they had instigated by bringing the weird strands that always floated through their music to the surface. Blur may superficially appear to be a break from tradition, but it is a logical progression, highlighting the band's rich eclecticism and sense of songcraft. Certainly, they are trying for new sonic territory, bringing in shards of white noise, gurgling electronics, raw guitars, and druggy psychedelia, but these are just extensions of previously hidden elements of Blur's music. What makes it exceptional is how hard the band tries to reinvent itself within its own framework, and the level of which it succeeds. "Beetlebum" runs through the White Album in the space of five minutes; "M.O.R." reinterprets Berlin-era Bowie; "You're So Great," despite the corny title, is affecting lo-fi from Graham Coxon; "Country Sad Ballad Man" is bizarrely affecting, strangled lo-fi psychedelia; "Death of a Party" is an affecting resignation; "On Your Own" is an incredible slice of singalong pop spiked with winding, fluid guitar and synth eruptions; while "Look Inside America" cleverly subverts the traditional Blur song, complete with strings. And "Essex Dogs" is a six-minute slab of free verse and rattling guitar noise. Blur might be self-consciously eclectic, but Blur are at their best when they are trying to live up to their own pretensions, because of Damon Albarn's exceptional sense of songcraft and the band's knack for detailed arrangements that flesh out the songs to their fullest. There might be dark overtones to the record, but the band sounds positively joyous, not only in making noise but wreaking havoc with the expectations of its audience and critics. [EMI's deluxe 2012 double-disc expansion of Blur contains the 1997 album on the first disc and a host of B-sides and rarities on the second. Blur took a left turn into unkempt American-influenced indie rock on this eponymous record and, not surprisingly, the B-sides reflect this change of course. They're ragged, alternating between fully formed pop ("All Your Life," taken from the Beetlebum single) and rough sketches, the band flirting with noise and psychedelia and indulging in some dance as well, with "Bustin + Dronin" -- its title co-opted for a concurrently released remix album -- splitting the difference between the two. On top of these B-sides comes a bunch of live material: acoustic versions of "Beetlebum," "On Your Own," "Country Sad Ballad Man," and Parklife's "This Is a Low," then three songs from a concert in Ulrecht.]

Product Details

Release Date:
07/31/2012
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
5099964483023
catalogNumber:
44830

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blur   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

David Bowie   Composer
Blur   Producer
Damon Albarn   Composer
Alan Branch   Engineer
Graham Coxon   Composer
Brian Eno   Composer
Alex James   Composer
Dave Rowntree   Composer
Stephen Street   Producer
Dust Brothers   Producer
Miranda Sawyer   Liner Notes
Jason Cox   Engineer
John Smith   Engineer
Scott Minshall   Reissue Design
Simon Mundy   Mixing Programmer
Arjan Arwert   Engineer
Thijs Peters   Engineer
Stuart Lowbridge   Engineer
Martin Hayward   Archival Consultant
Jürgen Mölders   Engineer

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