Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Blur

  • Parklife [SBK/ERG, 1994] Choice Cuts
  • The Great Escape [Virgin, 1995] Neither
  • Blur [Virgin, 1997] Choice Cuts
  • 13 [Virgin, 1999] ***
  • The Best of Blur [Virgin, 2000] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Parklife [SBK/ERG, 1994]
"Girls & Boys" Choice Cuts

The Great Escape [Virgin, 1995] Neither

Blur [Virgin, 1997]
"Song 2" Choice Cuts

13 [Virgin, 1999]
Halfway there, it sits down in the middle of the road and won't budge ("Tender," "B.L.U.R.E.M.I."). ***

The Best of Blur [Virgin, 2000]
Not Kinks, just Small Faces; not miniaturists, just small. Reduced to a tuneful 18-song essence that watches too much television, their mildness seems diverting and their Englishness definitive. Damon Albarn's accent--at once Cockney and civilised, with the laddish music-hall "Parklife" for instructive contrast (and a shot of life)--evokes the classless nowhere their genially opportunistic concept of pop aspires and succumbs to. They're alienated, sure--this is the modern world they sing about. But they're never depressed--melancholy is all. Change the world? All they care about changing is their sales strategy. A-