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In 1994 Blur released what would be one of the defining albums in the Britpop era; "Parklife". I saw resemblances in the Britpop groups and Mod bands like The Jam, The Kinks and The Small Faces, mainly because they sang about things they knew about, they sang about the country they were from and they didn't sell out and try to change their identity, especially their accents. When Parklife was released I bought it straight away and played it over and over and...well you get the picture. I eventually got the urge to hear more of Blurs music. I had listened to their debut album "Leisure" and aside from "There's No Other Way" and "She's So High", I thought it was pretty mediocre to say the least. I had heard a track called "Chemical World" from "Modern Life is Rubbish" and I just had to buy the album and this time I was in for a real treat!
Blur were formed in 1988 by childhood friends Damon Albarn(Vocals, Piano, Keyboards) and Graham Coxon(Guitar, Backing Vocals) along with Alex James(Bass) and Dave Rowntree(Drums). They released their debut album "Leisure" in 1991 on the back of the "Baggy" music genre that was in the middle of sweeping Britain.
After the mainstream success of "Leisure"(Number 7 in the UK Album Charts), the group discovered they were £60,000 in debt, so to try and recoup some of their losses they agreed to tour The States. The Grunge sound from America had already become mainstream with bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam having released their debut albums and due to homesickness, the band decided to write songs with a very English feel about them and this is where the term Britpop was first coined. Damon took inspiration from listening to an album by The Kinks throughout the tour and you can definitely hear Ray Davies influence in some of the songs on the resulting album...Modern Life is Rubbish. This album didn't fair as well as its predecessor, reaching number 15 in the UK Album Charts, but I hold this album in high esteem and think it was a far superior album.
The album opens with "For Tomorrow" ; a song that name checks a number of places in London; The Westway, Emperors Gate and Primrose Hill, the title of the album also appears in the lyrics to this song. "For Tomorrow" has a very distinctive intro that is repeated at the start of each verse before Damons vocal kicks in. This song also became their first single release from the album and charted at number 28 in the UK singles chart.
Next up we have the weirdest introduction to a song ever; "Food processors are great", followed by a keyboard sequence and then some heavy guitars. Damon snarls through the punky "Advert" like Johnny Rotten reborn, who says punk is dead?
"Colin Zeal" starts off with James' bassline droning in, before Coxon and Rowntree join in. This is a character song about a very smug man, doesn't really have a point to it, although it is a great track I thought the band could have gone somewhere with the lyric.
"Pressure on Julian" stemmed from their boss at Food Records tempestuous relationship with Julian Cope, with whom he played keyboards with in The Tear Drop Explodes. Julian was known for his excessive drug use, and I guess there was a lot of pressure to come up with the songs for the band. The lyrics to this song kind of take the listener on an L.S.D trip, definitely not the strongest track on the album in my opinion.
Next up we have a great pop song that I think the band should have released as a single; "Star Shaped". It appears to be about feeling worthless "I've been making plans (for the future),
become an unconscious man (all for the good), I feel so unnecessary". The final part of the chorus is a backing vocal that tells the singer that we don't think you're worthless we think you're pretty cool "We don't think so; you seem star shaped".
Damon wrote the lyric for "Blue Jeans" when he was embarking on a relationship with Justine Frischmann, it was written when they shared a house in Notting Hill. In the song Damon name checks Dr Martins("Air Cushioned Soles") & Portobello Road(a street in Notting Hill, home to a big street market famous for selling second-hand clothes and antiques). The song is about a time when everything is great in a relationship and Damon sings "I want to stay this way forever".
"Chemical World" is the track that made me want to get this album, this was the second single from this album and reached number 28 in the UK Singles Chart(very underrated chart position in my opinion). The lyric is about using sugar as a thing to make things better in your life, "Have to sit down and have some sugary tea"; we have all probably at some stage in our life have someone from the older generation tell us to have some sweet tea to make things better. Another line in the song says "Now she's eating chocolate to induce sleep" when she's just been told by her landlord that "she's out in a week" because "she didn't have enough money to pay the rent". It's a very catchy tune and a fantastic pop song, one of the best songs on the album, I still love it now, despite having played it to death. "Intermission" isn't included on the album credits as a single song, it is tagged onto the end of "Chemical World" and is a little musical interlude that starts off with a piano playing a nice little tune before building up into a crescendo of noise; a nice little break before we head into the next track.
"Sunday Sunday" is like a modern day Ray Davies composition, it is a very British song, talking up the great British Sunday. The song starts off with a drum beat before going into a music hall jolly up. "Sunday Sunday here again in tidy attire"; a reference to when people used to get dressed up for dinner and visit their family "To gather the family round the table to eat enough to sleep". The song references Songs of Praise & Mothers Pride. In the second verse the song talks about going for a walk in the park and meeting an old soldier who talks about how "he fought for us in two world wars, and says the England he knew is no more"(perhaps a nod to how Sundays are not the same anymore and people go out to work etc, where before, Sunday was always considered a day to rest). The song was released as the third single from the album reaching number 26 in the UK Singles Chart. I absolutely love this track, well I am a bit partial to music hall songs and the imagery this song conjures up is fantastic, it makes me think of how Sundays really used to be.
"Oily Water" didn't do anything for me the first time I listened to it, but it's a song that kind of grows on you the more you listen to it. I don't think it's one of the strongest on the album, but it certainly isn't one of the weakest. Damon sings through this track using a megaphone to give it a nice distorted edge to it and the fade out seems to go on forever and suddenly stops just when you're about to reach for the "next track" button.
From the raucous sound that this album has produced so far, we have a nice melancholic gem of a song in "Miss America". This song just flows and allows the listener to drift into a dreamy state, it is carried along nicely by Graham Coxons slide guitar. There are also no drums on this track, on the sleeve notes it does credit Dave Rowntree as "Being in a local pub", presumably he was too drunk to play on the track.
"Villa Rosie" is a song about finishing work and going straight to the local pub; The name of the pub being the title of this song, definitely one of the albums finest tracks.
Up next we have another punky number in "Coping". The song could be about coping with the loss of something/someone and the singer can't really be bothered with it all. It's a really catchy upbeat tune, Blur at their best.
This next song; the penultimate on the album, "Turn it Up" is one of my favourites on this album. The lyrics don't make any sense to me at all, but if you listen to Duran Durans greatest songs, neither did they and they did some mighty fine pop songs.
From the upbeat pop of "Turn it Up" we have the final song on the album; a melancholic song called "Resigned". This song is a strange one to me, as it only has two verses and no chorus, it is also a track that usually gets skipped when I listen to the album, as 5.11, it's far too long for a song with only two verses and no chorus. "Commercial Break" is another musical interlude that lasts for about a minute, nothing special to report about it.
All songs written by Albarn, Coxon, James, Rowntree
1) For Tomorrow
3) Colin Zeal
4) Pressure on Julian
5) Star Shaped
6) Blue Jeans
7) Chemical World/Intermission
8) Sunday Sunday
9) Oily Water
10) Miss America
11) Villa Rosie
13) Turn it Up
14) Resigned/Commercial Break
Clocking in a just under an hour in length, this album is definitely one of Blurs finest, and I actually happen to enjoy it more than "Parklife"; It seems to have more of a raw edge to it. It is almost a flawless album and would have been had they omitted the weakest number from it; "Resigned/Commercial Break". This album has a whole mixture of tracks on it from nice mellow tunes to punk rock, to pop, to music hall, so there is something there for everyone on it.
You can purchase the original album on CD from amazon.co.uk for £3.79 or if you want that little bit extra, there is a two disc edition, which includes some rare tracks and B-sides, including the single that was released prior to this album, "Popscene" and this is also available from amazon.co.uk for £11.09. - Prices include postage and packaging.
It might only be my opinion but this is the best ever Blur album that has been released to date. It came around at a time before Brit Pop became mainsteam. There was no Girls and Boys, no Oasis and wearing Adidas trackie tops had not yet come into fashion. The track list is as follows: 1. For Tomorrow -released as a single, excellent track about London life, a theme many Blur songs are based on, in later years during live performances a horn section is added to the track. 2. Advert has to be one of the best songs on the album, its better live, very high tempo. 3. Colin Zeal, one of the first of Blur's songs based on fictional characters, great guitar solo. 4. Pressure on Julian - I like the way this track starts. 5. Starshaped - is a nice jolly happy song. 6. Blue Jeans - My fav track, nothing better than lying in bed listening to this before you go to sleep, it's so mellow. 7. Chemical World - The lyrics in this song are quality. The video for this song is very good. 8. Sunday, Sunday - a great song about traditional England. 9. Oily Water - you will either love it or hate it.
10. Miss America - The first of Blur's songs based on their American experiences, very slow. 11. Villa Rosie - I like this track. 12. - Coping - high tempo track, rather electro pop like. 13. Turn it up - i like the guitar solo in this one also. 14 - Resigned - a rather slow and moody track to finish off the album. 16. Commercial Break - an instrumental track the same as Intermission that follows on from Chemical World.
A classic Britpop album born out of the 90s. But a classic album for all times?
For Tommorow is a fantastic opener, Damon's cockney geezer cuts over the screeching violins and chugging guitar. Much as the album title suggests the song deals with the reality of life, telling the story of a young couple living in London, I very much get the live to work vibe. It's a reality that couples go out for drives on the weekend to convince themselves that they are making the most of their lives and then coming home and sitting in front of the telly of an evening.
Chemical World feels post-apocalyptic with it's a alien vocal effects and indistinguishable guitars. Blur follow the, not entirely original, blueprint of young rock bands singing about being dissatisfied about life. Watch that this album doesn't convince you to grow your hair and walk around looking at your feet. The lyrics deal with a mutual disconnection with individuals and the world aided by the various chemicals we rely on, chocolate, make up and tea to name a few mentioned in the song.
Oily Water sees a more psychadelic approach. Dizzy guitars and flitting vocals are in double measures, it sounds not dissimilar to something Radiohead might write. The lyrics appear to be drivel but deal with paranoia probably about 'oily water', what this is seems unclear however... The end drags on for a very long time on this one.... You've been warned.
MLIR has its moments of brilliance (For Tommorow) but also it's moments of sheer indulgence (Oily Water). It has a few worthy songs on it but it's overall vibe has a dated sort of feel, very 90s. And it's subject matter can begin to grate after awhile. There's only so many times you can be told that modern life is rubbish....
"Modern Life Is Rubbish" has a special place in my heart. It is where i believe "early" Blur were at their best. This was when Blur was all about energy, loud guitars, catchy tunes but also being unique- the guitar tremelo effect on "Oily Water", it doesn't follow predictable chord sequences, the harmonies on "Blue Jeans", The intermission at the end of "Chemical World", the fast section on "Sunday Sunday". It also has one of the best run of tracks on a single album ever, and its a long one at that... "Blue Jeans", "Chemical World/Intermission", "Sunday Sunday", "Oily Water", "Miss America" and "Villa Rosie" All in a row! I suppose that's what makes this album great also - I do not get bored with it and I love listening to it all the way through, there is not a dull moment. As soon as you hear "For Tommorow" opening the album, I know I'm in for a treat - I am listening to one of the best albums of the 90's.
"Modern Life is Rubbish". This is a quintessentially British record right at the start of Britpop, by one of the most successful and famous Britpop groups.
However this record didn't have a good start. When it was released it failed to capture the imagination of the general public and not one single made it into the top twenty, the first single released "Popscene" did so badly it was taken off the album. The band were on the verge of being dropped from their record label.
Thankfully they had the chance to make Parklife which did well. In retrospect Modern Life Is Rubbish is almost as good as Parklife and should have had a better reception from the public. Now, it is held to higher aclaim, the aclaim it deserves.
What I love about the album is the melodies, my favourites being "For Tomorrow" and "Chemical World", having heard them on the radio. The lyrics are a little dark but very true - we are relying more and more on chemicals in medecines etc in society. But, the melodies are beautiful. "Coping" is a little punkier with more guitar but again have a good melody and rhythm. "Sunday Sunday" is the other single and although not my favourite is still good and very "British". All of the songs are good and the album is definitely worth a listen.
Other songs include: "Advert", "Pressure on Julian", "Colin Zeal", "Blue Jeans", "Villa Rosie", "Starshaped", "Resigned", "Turn it up" and two instrumentals "Intermission" and "Commercial Break"
Like all blur albums (except 'blur''s) 'Modern Life is Rubbish' has a terrible front cover, and like all blur albums (except 'Leisure) the music inside is (as Tony the Tiger would say:) 'GGGGRrreeeeaattt'. 'Modern Life is Rubbish' is not blur's best album, but it is perhaps my favourite. It is simulataneously a celebration and condemnation of British society. The band were at a low in their career when this album was released. After 'There's No Other Way' (overrated) conquered the charts back in the day when indie firmly stayed in the Chart Show's indie chart, the enthusiasm for blur suddenly petered out. The single 'Popscene' released between 'Leisure' and 'Modern Life is Rubbish', failed to ignite the charts as the band expected and only stuck its toe into the top 40 at number 32. American grunge was taking over the popular consciousness and no one gave a damn about these four Essex indie-boys. blur retalliated by adopting a distincly English image - cherry red Doc Martens, suit jackets, jeans - and also changing their sound away from the faux baggy of 'Leisure' and emerging with a prominent Kinks influence, as far away from the tie-die and Black Sabbath riffs of Seattle as possible. However, 'Modern Life is Rubbish' is not simply a Britain vs. America concept album (though 'Miss America' expresses this trend), instead the album explores the nuances of British culture - both the good and the bad, making no conclusions, but remaining defiantly 'English' (all the more ironic now with Damon's Pavement influences on 'blur' and his new gansta-look). It is the obvious precursor, to 'Parklife', less commercial, more traditional, yet equally as good. The album kicks off with 'For Tomorrow' which crash landed into the charts at number 28. References to the capital, are all over this song, marking the album's m
anifesto from its outset. Lines such as 'London ice cracks down a seamless line' and 'let's take a drive to Primrose Hill', were a million miles away from 'oooh I I I ooohh I'm still Alivveeee yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh' (Pearl Jam). Second track 'Advert' explores the angst of the commuter, eager to get away from 'the underground' and consumerism (the track starts with an ad-lib from the shopping channel saying 'food processors are great'). It is a relatively punkish thrash, which usually occurs buried deep in side-two of blur albums, but 'Modern Life is Rubbish' is perhaps the most diverse set of songs that blur have ever produced, and they are obviously keen to display this in order to show the diversity of British society. 'Colin Zeal' is the first ever Albarn third person character portrait (which many believed he took far too far on 'The Great Escape'). A very boring imaculate, businessman, a product of society. A nobody, but he's 'so pleased with himself', a contrast to the self-loathing that characterised grunge. 'Pressure on Julian is as uncommercial as anything on '13', squalling guitar produced by Coxon bending his strings through about 765 effects pedals. It's dislikable at first, but begins to make sense after living with it for a while. The pressure on Julian is the mundanity of his life 'pushing trolleys from B to A, and then back to B'. 'Starshaped' is a tuneful, if slight, pop ditty. But the album's - and probably blur's - greatest triumph is 'Blue Jeans'. A ballad, a split up with my girlfriend so wallow in self-pity, masterpiece that nearly brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it. 'Chemical World' is essentially 'For Tomorrow' pt II in sound, but lyrically attacks the plastic-nature of society. Side one ends with a piano ditty that marks every blur al
bum, which speeps upandupandupandupandup till it nearly explodes. And then it does. Side two is much less satisfying, it kicks off with the terrible 'Sunday, Sunday' (oompah oompah ooompah!). Though 'Oily Water' is one of Coxon's most inventive guitar pieces yet and emerges as one of the album's highlights after repeated listens. It would sit well on 'blur'. 'Miss America' is a quiet acoustic lament about Americanisation. Very melanchoy and beautiful. After this point, the songs, though pleasant enough, really don't mean much in the grand canon of blur songs. 'Villa Rosie' is a nice pop-ditty about the need to let it all go after being suppressed at work all day. 'Coping' is a punk thrash in the vein of 'Advert', 'Turn it Up' is pretty bad and contains the word 'Kazoo' which no credible song should. The album ends with 'Resigned' a little over-dramatic, but effective closer before the typical organ farewell of 'Commercial Break'. All in all, 'Modern Life is Rubbish' is far from perfect, but in its sheer defiance of musical trends to search for something new, it must be commended highly. It also gave birth to blur's 'life trilogy' which also contains 'Parklife' and 'The Great Escape'. The album is best viewed in the context of the musical climate at the time and by comparison with the two albums which followed it. A flawed masterpiece that needs reinvestigation from anyone with more than a passing-interest in blur. (America still won though - until 'Parklife' that is.)
reflecting on all the changes Blur's music has gone through since this record was produced has given me the desire to re-visit it. Blur's music has changed so astonishingly that it is virtually impossible to hear any simmilarities between this album and 1999's effort- 13. It is almost like comparing two different bands. Two different bands of different genres. On the one side you have the blur who produced blur 13- a spaced out, contempory, ultra modern, completely alternative, experimental and artistic band. And on the other side you have the blur who produced modern life is rubbish- a uniquely british, punk influenced, heavily based guitar band but no less less artistic. Modern life is rubbish opens with the sublime track 'for tomorrow'- it is almsot the perfect opening track for the album. It screams out british to the listener, illustrates Damon Albarn's unique vocals and is alive with soft indie guitar rifts. In contrast 13 opens with the Gospel influenced 'tender,'Damon's voice is more honest and almost more mature. Differences are evident from the very start and the albums continue to distance themselves even further as each album continues to go down completely different avenues. Modern life is rubbish explores soft catchy punk music in the form of narrative songs such as 'colin zeal' and 'pressure on julian' and songs based on blur's cynicalism of america and their certain attitues to things- for example 'miss america' and 'villa rosie.' The album also has its rock n roll, heavily guitar based 'chemical world.' and strange seymour piano codas. 13 goes on to explore a completely different style of music, something almost uncategorizable but in no way ever even hints at the softest form of punk. Its spaced out and the sound is certainly more optimistic and expressive. Tracks such as 'battle', '
;trimm trabb' and 'caramel' stand out for their brilliance and complete alternativeness. modern life is rubbish was the album which layed the foundations for blur's all successful britpop album 'parklife' Who knows what 13 has prepared blur for.....Damon says there's one more album to come and I'll be counting the days.... is modern life is rubbish better than blur 13 or is blur 13 better than modern life is rubbish? I know what I think but it'd be unfair to say, after all they're much too different...
("Modern music is rubbish" was going to be the title of this opinion, but I decided to go for something a bit more informative instead) If you've read my review on Parklife, Blur's first huge success, you'll know that I said that it wasn't as good as Modern Life is Rubbish. Why? For a start, this whole album meshes together much better. There's a diversity of sound, but there isn't the jading contrast that stops Parklife being as smooth as this album Furthermore, the lyrics to this track are brilliant. Most of them describe some people's rubbish lives, from the "pay-me girl" who's being thrown out of her flat and eating herself to sleep to Colin Zeal, who's living a stereotypical life, supposedly interesting, but actually repetitive and boring. (By the way, I apologise for not having any idea of which tracks were released as singles or whether any of the tracks were used on TV, etc. I wasn't a Blur fan back then, and I only discovered this CD a few years ago) The entire CD is 14 tracks long, though tracks 7 and 14 are really double tracks, so that's 16. It's just under an hour long. Track Listing: 1. For Tomorrow (4:20): Energetic start to the album, it sets the pace with a purposeful drag. 2. Advert (3:45): Far more bouncy, and more like Blur's later stuff. Captures advertising banality well and makes good use of what sounds like a siren in the background. 3. Colin Zeal (3:16): Another solid track. Smaller Britpop bands would have songs sounding like this a couple of years later, with prominent guitars, audible drums and very clear vocals. 4. Pressure on Julian (3:31): A very laid back sound. The guitars drawl along nicely while the vocals strain at their bounds, giving the effect of huge contrast between one semi-tone and the next. 5. Starshaped (3:26): Very good track, could have been a true Brit-pop anthem if Blur had
been better known at the time. The guitars and drums remind me of how American bands like Blink 182 would sound if they were much calmer and quieter. 6. Blue Jeans (3:54): Another slowish drawl. I'd refer to it as filler, but it sounds too good. 7. Chemical World (6:33): The first half is a terrific Brit-Rock track. The drums and guitars sound a bit like some of Queen's early stuff. The instrumentals are jerked and interrupted rhythmically in time with the lyrics (it doesn't sound as awkward as my description makes it seem...) There is then about 10 to 15 seconds of silence before the "Intermission", a piece largely dominated by a piano playing faster and faster as other instruments join in to bring it to a noisy climax, before the calm quiet piano starts again. 8. Sunday Sunday (2:38): Excellent drums at the beginning of the track, and one of the best tracks on the album, with a lot of different instruments joining in to do their little bit. Could have done with being a bit longer. 9. Oily Water (5:00): Quite a bizarre wobbly sound effect on the guitars on this track. Thankfully it works, though the track does slow down during the second half and does drag on a bit too long. 10. Miss America (5:34): The pace slows down even further, and this sounds like one of the more downbeat songs from Suede or someone like that. 11. Villa Rosie (3:55): The pace picks up again, though not by very much. Good instrumental work with a contrast between soft and loud sounds. 12. Coping (3:24): The pace is right back up again with something which wouldn't have sounded out of place next to the Lightning Seeds a couple of years later. My favourite track on the album, makes excellent use of keeping the instrumentals steady while the vocals lead the tune. 13. Turn It Up (3:22): An energetic track which sounds like it would be great live. 14. Resigned (6:11): The first half makes a lovely conclusion to the album, with purpos
eful instrumentals contrasting the hopelessness of the lyrics and Damon's voice (I mean that his persona's has not hope, not that the lyrics are no good). After the tune has come to a very good end, there's a few seconds of silence and a 1 minute "Commercial Break". This is another instrumental piece. It's very good, but it does ruin the moment if you're just listening to the whole album the whole way through. In conclusion, this whole CD is one of my favourite in my collection. It doesn't have any tracks which are outstanding and which I ever feel a sudden urge to listen to, but there's nothing on it that I've ever managed to get sick of. Because of its laid back sound, I can put it on in the background while I'm writing an essay or something and forget that it's even there. All in all, I've probably listened to this CD more times than just about anything else in my collection. Highly recommended!
Bliss. The best album ever released by Blur, signalled the end of being a middle of the road band, shooting them into super stardom. The Less said about 'The Great Escape' the better, MLIR is such a quality record, raw and experimentitve from start to finish, oozing boozed up guitar riffs, and silly but thoughtful lyrics. It also shows the jauntier side of blur which is now missing. They are still a fantastic band, but much darker. True, the darkness was there on MLIR, but mixed with the jauntyness of 'Sunday Sunday', and 'Starshaped' make this a must-listen for any true blur fanatic. Si.
Picture it. It’s 1993. People are suffering from Post-Madchesteral-Depression. Even grunge is dying off. The ignorant kids are getting into Drum ‘n’ Bass. Is there NO HOPE! But wait… round the corner… a call to arms. Yes. The Britpop movement is imminent. From music being sick, to music’s golden age! And, it starts here. Modern Life is Rubbish was the blue-print for Brit-pop. Noel had written Live Forever, but forgotten which way the notes went round. And it was a quick, sudden revolution. Blur were actually a lot more successful with their debut Leisure than this follow-up. Leisure was a familiar, Madchester, new indie-dance success. I think it got to no.7 and there was the success of There’s No Other Way. Modern Life is Rubbish got to 13, but not many people noticed it. Melody Maker and the NME wrote well about it. But the singles didn’t really break the world either. Despite all that, this IS better than Parklife. The only thing that Parklife has got that Modern Life is Rubbish hasn’t is Girls And Boys. There are ballads (the excellent Blue Jeans and the endearing Miss America), more brit-rock numbers (the faster Sunday Sunday) and just classics tracks (For Tomorrow, Chemical World). The album just sounds right. It’s been put together very well. Just filled with energetic, lively songs, merged with British nostalgia (hence the sleeve cover) and some classical instruments; the oboe for example. The album is talking about normal British life. Damon Albarn’s very wry, witty words illustrate the mad Sunday lunch fiasco, and walking the dog in the park perfectly. You wonder if he’s been spying on you. Blur have managed to capture a nation. We’re always striving to be new, cool and For Tomorrow. Yet, we refuse to let go of the past. We are cursed with nostalgia. And that’s what Blur talk about, or perhaps about someone. Collin ‘Look’s at his watch,
he’s on time, yet again. He’s pleased with himself; He’s pleased with himself, so pleased with himself…’. Or ‘Pressure on Ju-ulia-a-a-an’. It also does its fair amount of satirical play. For example Advert. ‘Say something, say something, say something else’. As a format, …Rubbish is very simple: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, repeat chorus a bit. But remember, simple is effective. Plus there is the interlude: an odd, but entertaining, piano playing, getting faster, while they add instruments on top to a very fat sound. Which leads me to say, it’s a very fat, crunchy sound. Bursting with flavours. Damon has got a fantastic, evocative voice. And for some reason, that clear Essex accent has always been an advantage. It’s very versatile. When he’s doing the tender number, his voice works, when he’s playing the fool, it still blends in beautiful. And Graham’s not bad at all on the guitar. But Blur have yet to find the beauty of the electric guitar. Wait for their eponymous album for that. But there is no doubt that Graham Coxon can play those strings. Perhaps the bass sound is a bit neglected. This all makes for a really, really, really entertaining listening. Blur opened up endless opportunities for their future. They would be able to conquer the world later. And they did. I would say that this is their joint best album (along with ‘Blur’. Parklife is a very close second, but lacks some of the wit and energy; although Parklife is more diverse). If you like classic, good-hearted, guitar pop, this is just the thing. It’s got everything, and is also a great introduction to one of the best bands of last decade. ---------------------------------------------And now for my feature article: *SQUEEEK*. Ladies and gentlemen, the peanut has entered the building. And is now LEAVING. And now the real feature article: Why Blur
are better than Oasis, and Modern Life is Rubbish was the blue-print for Brit-pop. Oasis are 2d and boring. Both (What’s The Story) Morning Glory and Definitely Maybe were fantastic albums. But all of Oasis sounds the same. We’ve had enough of their epic anthems. Blur, change and become masters of the world. Just to prove my point about the Blur thing, Oasis were always one album behind, they needed someone to copy. (Forget Leisure for the time-being) Oasis mirrored Blur too, for the first three albums: they both did an excellent not-too-commercial album, then a giant commercial success, then a not so good piece. But while Blur picked up again with brilliance, Oasis returned with an album, whose title didn’t make sense (one shoulder, lots of giants).
This has to be one of the best Blur albums. The first half of the album cannot be rivalled. There are a few songs that let the album down on the last part, most notably Turn It Up. I bought my copy of MLIR whilst in Canada so it contains 3 extra tracks. Popscene appears towards the end, and there are two bonus tracks at the end of the CD, a song called Peach, and Till The Cows Come Home, this adds to the value of the CD to me, as I don't know anyone else that has a copy like it! Favourite songs from the album include Blue Jeans, Star Shaped, and the singles For Tomorrow and Chemical World
Now 7 years old, this is Blur's second album, and was, at the time, criminally ignored by the critics and the record buying public alike. At the time, Blur were not really very successful, and were being eclipsed by the grunge revolution of America. This is their awfully British fightback, and really is the birth of Britpop. It opens in a glorious fashion, with the single "For Tomorrow," which is a brilliant pop tune. The whole album has a real British vibe to it, as if it is saying "isn't Britain a brilliant place to live!?" from the checkout girls in Chemical World to the made up seaside inn of Villa Rosie. The musical style changes from pop to balladry to heavy "Song 2" style rock, most prominent on the short and punky "Advert," which quite coincidentally happens to be the second song on the album.
Following on from their dubut record Leisure, Modern Life Is Rubbish cemented Blur as a band to be reckoned with. From the Britpop inspiring Chemical World to the universally cherished Villa Rosie, this album shows just how consistently entertaining Blur can be when they put their minds to it. Every song on this album demands repeat listenings, and the album as a whole gels perfectly. This should win over those who shun Blur, due to its simple appeal. A must, wheter you're a fan or not.
You have to love this record! It's a bouncy, chirpy, catchy little charmer of an album, and there isn't a bad song on it. I'd have a go at changing something on every one of Blur's albums, except this one - it's flawless. Fair enough, you can say that it could be better, but then you can say that about anything. Winning the lottery could be better - you could win the lottery and become Batman, for example. Batman likes this record, by the way. I heard Modern Life Is Rubbish a fair while after buying and adoring Parklife and The Great Eccape, so I was expecting something a bit worse, a bit... earlier, shall we say. But no, clever Blur, for I fell in love as soon as I stuck this in my stereo - and I was so impressed that I decided to love it forever. It's not a work of genius, but it's certainly got a nice arse. Borrow this off someone, or stick it on round their house, or put it on a shop listening post - and when you do, listen to Villa Rosie (track 12). I challenge you not to want it after that. It's one of those 'Nice Price' CDs, so you'll find it for £6.99 somewhere. Go on, buy it, you know you want to...
i love blur. i loved their old stuff, i love their new stuff, but this is bad. really bad. okay, ill give them some credit for two tracks.. 'for tommorow'and 'star shaped'. the rest is really dissapointing, and i dont think it reflects their talent in the slightest. it seems like a different band when compared to albums such as 'blur' and 'leisure'. i think the album cover reflects the album perfectly.. i know its meant to look old, but it really does remind you of the boring, lifeless music you have just let yourself in for. maybe im missing something, but i am a big blur fan, and love all of the other blur albums ive got. this is as far away from modern life and modern tastes as you can get.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 For tomorrow
3 Colin Zeal
4 Pressure on Julian
5 Star shaped
6 Blue jeans
7 Chemical world
8 Sunday Sunday
9 Oily water
10 Miss America
11 Villa Rosie
13 Turn it up
16 Commercial Break