Length of Play - 67:07
After being coddled and caressed by the equisite opener, Tender (has a beat similar to John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance"), one would think that "13" would be chock-full of relaxing, mellow, joyous music. That description; however, couldn't be more inaccurate. The bulk of this album is comprised of long, dreary, abrasive, dirge-like numbers. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but at times the downtrodden dissonance is just too much. "Battle" and "Caramel", for instance, are two seemingly endless tracks that carry off into oblivion. On the other hand, downers like "1992", a thrashing ballad that breaks into a Radioheadlike electronic explosion, "Trailerpark", a spooky, noir-sounding tune (think "I'm Just a Killer for your Love"), and "Bugman", a vicious, rocking stomp of a song, are beautifully bleak and stand out as excellent tracks. The highest points of the album though, in my opinion, are found outside of the aforementioned tracks of madness. "Coffee and TV", with its cool, swaggering pace, the morosely delightful "Mellow Song", and the helpless, breathtaking "No Distance Left to Run" are absolutely indispensable tracks. Also, for anyone who enjoys the strange-sounding coda, Optigan 1, check out the album "Spotlight on..." by Optiginally Yours. At times listening to this record can be quite harrowing, but all in all, it is definitely worthwhile music and a must have for Blur fans.