After years of running neck and neck with Oasis in
the Brit pop sweepstakes, last year Blur's opponents took a significant lead in worldwide
popularity. Which is hard to believe, because Blur is certainly a more original band, and
probably just plain better, too.
But instead of complaining, Blur has taken the
opportunity to reinvent themselves yet again. The band claims that the new album is
something they just threw together, but while the whole thing has a definitely more thrown
together feel than past albums, it is obviously well planned by some brilliant pop minds.
The main change of focus on the album is that for the first time, Blur doesn't necessarily
sound British, which was an integral part of their feel even as it limited their
commercial appeal outside of England.
Blur covers the musical spectrum from tough rockers
like "I'm A Killer For Your Love" to heartfelt ballads like "Look Inside
America." They also do acknowledge their roots with the terrific Beatles tribute
"Beetlebum" (Oasis will be green with envy.) Blur should be that album
that finally pushes this deserving band over the top. (4/97)