|1. For Tomorrow|
|3. Colin Zeal|
|4. Pressure On Julian|
|5. Star Shaped|
|6. Blue Jeans|
|7. Chemical World (Includes Hidden Track 'Intermission')|
|8. Sunday Sunday|
|9. Oily Water|
|10. Miss America|
|11. Villa Rosie|
|13. Turn It Up|
|14. Resigned (Includes Hidden Track 'Commercial Break')|
|15. Pop Scene - Blur|
|16. Resigned - Blur|
|17. Commercial Break - Blur|
|18. When The Cows Come Home (Bonus Track)|
|19. Peach (Bonus Track)|
There is still a hint of their Leisure days on tracks like Oily Water and Turn it Up, but other than that, Modern Life is Rubbish is a leap forward for Blur, a reinvention. This is a band that mines the history of British music, from the Kinks-style satire of Sunday Sunday to the Syd Barrett-vibe of Miss America. It even pays tribute to Teardrop Explodes lead singer Julian Cope on Pressure on Julian. This is a band that gives us goofy instrumentals between tracks. This is a band that pokes fun at commercialized world, on songs like the punky Advert and the resigned Resigned. This is a band that thinks the rush of the city isn't worth it, as heard in the lyrics of Coping and Colin Zeal. This is a band that thinks Modern Life IS Rubbish.
Modern life may be rubbish, but the performance of this album isn't. Damon Albarn's voice is a lot more confident than it is on Leisure, and the lyrics are more complex, and sometimes downright funny. ("practice doesn't make perfect when you're interbreeding", from Villa Rosie). Damon also gets to show off his talents on piano and a wide variety of keyboard, something he didn't get to do as much of on Leisure. Graham Coxon's guitar playing is delicious, as catchy and as vibrant as you can get for this kind of music. Both Alex James' bass and Dave Rowntree's drumming are varied and help to keeps things interesting.
Some reviews have called this album weird.Read more ›
Blur remain the lone symbols of what was once Britpop, having just released a 7th album to number one sales and singles and receiving a recent vote of album of the year by Q magazine (surprisingly ahead of Radioheads latest). Where Suede have disbanded, reformed, disbanded, and now are allegedly reforming again, Oasis have declined to repetitive schlock, and Radiohead have turned their heads to the left-field, Blur have survived through the gentle art of constant reinvention, while still retaining a core sound.
MLIR Marks Blur first foray into what became "traditional" Brit-Pop. They tore off their 'baggy' style (enforced upon them by the execs at Food Records) and replaced it with a tongue-in-cheek cynicism that was distinctly...well...British.
While fool's gold tracks like "Sunday Sunday" and "Turn it Up" are easily mass-pleasure romps, the rest of the album is a vignette of 1993 from the UK perspective. I say this because a vignette of 1993 from the US perspective would consist of a one word answer that starts with an 'S' and ends with an 'eattle'.
The album opens with "For Tomorrow," one of the "hit singles" frontman Damon Albarn was told to write in order to get his band's follow-up to 1991's Leisure released.
PRESSURE ON JULIAN-Reportedly about Julian Cope(it sees Blur acknowledge one of their influences)it's a great track in the spirit of the album.
STARSHAPED-The most uplifting track,it hasn't got though a chorus to match the verses feel of teenage gusto.
BLUE JEANS-The most gorgeous melody in here,one of the standouts.
CHEMICAL WORLD-Faster than the last one,was one of the singles.
SUNDAY,SUNDAY-The most direct song of this recording,great guitar,vocals,chorus and it's fast too.Perfect.
OILY WATER-The worst track,probably because the demo version of this song was considered good enough to be in the album,well it wasn't.Should have been more worked upon.
MISS AMERICA-Possibly Damon's best vocal perfomance lies here.