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Blur Band Review

During a pivotal point in the production of BritPop, the band Blur formed in 1988. With nine albums, the band proves to remain incredibly popular after their peak in the 1990s in Great Britain. The most recent album, “The Ballad of Darren,” was released eight years after the bands break up. Encapsulating sounds and mixed genres, Blur manages to capture all types of listeners from the screaming fangirls to the hardcore headbangers. Even more so, they somehow managed to alter their sound so much throughout their heyday. 

Blur was made up of frontman Damon Albarn, who now is the main mastermind behind the animated band Gorillaz; guitarist Graham Coxon; bassist and cheesemonger Alex James; and drummer/former Labor Party councilor for Norfolk county, David Rowntree. The band had incredible chemistry at the start. However, like many popular bands, they soon dissipated over the years due to creative differences. Coxon left the band before the release of their album, “Think Tank.” Hence why the album’s lack of guitar and more experimental sound. Despite that, they managed to console their differences and came back in 2015 with the release of “The Miracle Whip.”

Albarn, the band’s lead songwriter, brought themes of warning, pride and success into beautiful ballads like “Running to Stand Still” and powerful alternative rock bangers like the popular “Song 2.” There are also pop songs like “Country Song” and funky Gorillaz-like sounds like “Crazy Beat.” The albums, “Parklife,” “The Great Escape,” and “Modern Life is Rubbish” are the bands peak BritPop phase. Groovy dance tunes like “Girls and Boys,” “Charmless Man,” and “For Tomorrow” capture the fun of being young in London and the culture of the 90s through the eyes of the band. As described by Coxon, “Country Song” reflects the band heading down the image of a caricature. However, the public viewed the song as a fight against Oasis’s “Roll With It” for number one on the charts. The public also found the Blur song to be worthy of the winner of the Battle of BritPop, creating a “rivalry” within the media between the two bands. 

The band returned in 2023 with two concert dates in London, England that sold out with fans of all ages seeking to see the band perform once again. Images from the performance are a rather interesting sight since it is a sea of people coming out to see a band who are no longer as relevant as they once were. But, to the audience, they are. Blur is the kind of band that shows the impact that smaller music groups have on people. Their more popular songs are no match to the band’s fans who enjoy the wilder, experimental side of the group. A lot of people can recognize the sound of “Song 2’s”  infamous “Woo Hoo!” and sing along to it. However, not a lot of people can recognize the name of the band or what the song is called​​—a worldwide influence, reduced to a single song to be remembered by. A deeper dive into the band’s discography can introduce listeners to a whole other world of music variety that might be a new enjoyment to those who dare to try them out.

It is interesting to see if the band will continue to make music, as the latest album takes a rather somber approach, and the members are all doing their own projects. However, through all their projects they came back together so who knows, they might surprise us all again.

Maybe it was because Gorillaz’s last album was not the greatest, and they needed something to make up for Albarn’s time being spent towards Blur once more. Either way, it’s nice to see something new remind many of the old they continue to love. 

You can find Blur on any streaming service.

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