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Blur – Blur (1997)

November 30, 2019

[Album 701/1001]

Is Blur’s eponymous album a masterpiece?

Or a piece of…something else entirely?Blur_Blur

There’s likely an explanation for the polarizing reactions to the 1997 album.

Many would point to a change in sound: this album would be far more ‘lo-fi’ than ‘brit-pop.’

I’ll concede that there’s plenty of logic/validity/accuracy to such an argument.

But not nearly enough arts & crafts!

Therefore I propose another theory for the polarized listener reactions: unequal distribution by song type.




As I attempted to explain in my Parklife review, Blur’s songs can be described and categorized (in an alliteration stretch) as being either Brilliance, ‘Bove Average, Bread & Butter, or Bizarre.

In the case of Parklife, the song type distribution was equal, 4 songs per category.

As a result, the album wasn’t “too” anything and the album was generally agreed upon as being a keeper.

With Blur, once again, the band recorded a mix of songs that could be classified as being either Brilliance, ‘Bove Average, Bread & Butter, or Bizarre.

However, with Blur, the songs were not quite so evenly distributed.




This is another one of your weird songs, man
– Flight of the Conchords (Bret, upon hearing Bret, You’ve Got it Going On)

Man, Blur’s eponymous album has a bunch of weird songs.

Through at the opposite end of the diagram, there are also a bunch of gems.

And very, to borrow a Sir Mix-A-Lot lyric, little in the middle.

Which may help to explain the lack of middle ground in album appraisals.

So love it or hate it, given the shift in musical direction for an important band, Blur’s album is likely right where it belongs on the 1001 list.

And as they say, the greats are always polarizing!


Verbalize the Positive

By arriving @ album 701/1001 today, I now have 300 albums to go.

I believe that Blur’s song categories will work as a description for the rest of the albums from the list.

I anticipate the remaining 300 albums will be a mix of bizarre, bread & butter, and ‘bove average.

And if I’m lucky, some brilliance too!


From → 1990s

  1. This scale of measure is genius. As are some tracks on that Blur album. All the singles off that sucker were pushing the boundaries at the time.

    • Cheers Steve!
      Well said – I have to remind myself of the context of these albums too.
      In 1997, Song 2 hadn’t been playing on adverts for decades yet, it was so unlike anything else at the time!

  2. 4 B’s! So Geoff the ? has to asked. What do you make of the bizarre tracks?
    Are they repeat listens or do you skip em entirely?
    Wandering minds need to know!

    • A good question, Deke – in concert, I’d want to hear the brilliance.
      But listening to the album on my own, I love it as is, it wouldn’t be the same without the bizarre!

  3. jprobichaud permalink

    You know my opinion on these guys. In my opinion, they didn’t put out a bad album. This one took me aback when I first heard it at the time. However, the “brilliant” tracks you mention in your post drew me in and I grew to love these rest, even the “bizarre”.

    • That describes me too! Theme from Retro is still quite strange, but I have no interest in skipping it, as it’s somehow the perfect song to have before You’re so Great

  4. This was the first time Blur really caught my attention. Maybe it was the bizarre tracks? Or maybe just the strength of those that are brilliant!?

    300 left?!? Oh man!!

    • I think for me it was the brilliance that drew me in, and the bizarreness that kept me there – like the advert saying, come for the ______, stay for the ______. In Blur’s case, come for the brilliance, stay for the bizarre!

  5. Fourteen songs is a lot. I like this greatest hits, but never gone back to the studio records.

    • I could see a Blur greatest hits being pretty potent – there’s something about the weirdness I’d miss though if it was just the brilliant tracks!

  6. It’s okay. That’s all it evokes in me.

    • I suppose every theory has its outliers – ironically in this case, the outlier isn’t at one of the extremes!

  7. Interestingly, I’ve never listened to a Blur studio album. I own the hits but the vocals I didn’t really gravitate towards so I think that explains my hestitation. Curious to hear the “brillance” you marked here!

    • And I suppose like beauty, brilliance may be in the eyes of the beholder. What I find brilliant, others may find downright bizarre!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Minor Threat – Out of Step (1983) | 1001albumsin10years
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  3. 1997 | 1001albumsin10years

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