Friday, January 3, 2014

426 of 1001 Albums: Blur's Self Titled

The sound of the 90's is defined by many bands, one of them being Blur. They have songs that still hit the airwaves quite regularly like "Song 2", and their sound ranges enough to probably almost have any type of song that a person could find enjoyable on their album. Blur though gets the album kicked off quite enjoyable, but ends it on a very different note than it begins.

History: The band would be meeting a lot of challenges with the release of their fifth self titled album. Their last album, The Great Escape, hadn't went over well because it was shadowed by Oasis' success, and the genre they were becoming highly identified with, Britpop, wasn't too successful in America. The band though brought forth some changes on their new album inspired by other bands that would help this one become a worldwide hit. This album would produce hits like "Beetlebum" and "Song 2" that also becomes classics.

Vocals: The vocals aren't incredibly memorable, or at least not as much as the instrumentals on the album. "Song 2" has this very catchy rhythm though, and the vocals do contribute to the sounds you're going to be hearing long after the song goes off. You can also hear a lot of the band's new recording style in the album as well. The band sounds more like a group having a lot of fun with their songs instead of over thinking the process of putting the music together. Damon Albarn has interesting vocals though, and they do go well with the music.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals are really great, and provide a huge variety of sounds on the album. One minute the band sounds a bit more hardcore, and then the next the music is a lot slower. "Essex Dogs" is the last song on the album, and eight minutes long, but it stands out on the album because it is so different. It wasn't my favorite, but very unique. Graham Coxon was on the electric and acoustic guitars though, and I really enjoyed the guitar riffs in most the songs. Alex James was on bass guitar, and David Rowntee is on the drums as well. The band members really come together to make well arranged music.

Recording: The recording does have the fun 90's sound, particularly the Britpop sound. I don't know many people in America who are huge fans of Oasis or even Blur, but they did both garner a lot of attention here. Their style has been able to stay trending, and be as cool as ever to hear. Plus, Blur still gets used frequently to advertise, and "Song 2" sounds like it is something that could have been recorded today.

Blur is a band that is easy to like and listen to. I don't think many of the songs really stood out to me to go back and listen to over again, but it was enjoyable exploring listening to. The songs range from serious to fun, so there are a range of emotions to explore on the album. I'm sure for most fans as well this album is as good to listen to now as it's ever been.

7.5 of 10.

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