The Magic Whip

Blur

Parlophone/Warner Brothers, 2015

http://www.blur.co.uk

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/12/2015

Well, it’s finally here! On their first album since 2003 and their first full-length with guitarist Graham Coxon since 1999, Blur has come back around to a sound that many diehard fans have always loved. And without a doubt, the band has pulled off one of the best comebacks in alternative rock history. This is definitely one of the best albums of the year

The album opener “Lonesome Street” is a gritty little rocker with some classic vocals from Albarn, and upon listening to the track, old school fans can be reassured: all is right with the world of Blur. Before the release of the record, several songs including “Lonesome Street” made their way onto the web, so the band’s fans got a taste of songs before their street date, which helped to build up hype for a much deserved release.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“New World Towers” is definitely one of many standouts, a jaunty acoustic number that’s just a fantastic song. “Thought I Was A Spaceman” is a downtempo track that works really well, reminding me of something off 13. In fact, this album feels like it belongs right between 1997’s self-titled record and 13 in terms of musicality and the album’s overall vibe.

“There Are Too Many Of Us” is another great track that would’ve found its place on the radio back in their ‘90s heyday. Damon and Co. is on full tilt all throughout the record, and it’s nice to see him really rocking out again after an experimental solo record and those endless Gorillaz tracks. Coxon’s guitar playing is on point as it always is, particularly on “I Broadcast” and “Ghost Ship.” The latter is a track with a really funky groove that is already becoming a fan favorite.

My two particular favorites are “Ong Ong” and “Mirrorball.” The former is a truly great, amazing pop song with typically great Blur backing vocals. This track to me is just a masterpiece of pop. The latter, also the album closer, is a fantastic, slow track with amazing guitar work. What a better way to close this amazing, wonderful comeback record out.

Without a doubt, this is one of the most amazing records I’ve heard all year and a top contender for album of the year. Remember back in the ‘90s when people were debating who was better: Blur or Oasis? Well, guess what? After taking some time off for other projects, ONE band has come out as the clear victor: Blur.

Rating: A

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