Tuesday, 2 November 2010

"And The Radio Says...", By @DiaryOfALedger

Blur launched Parklife with Girls and Boys a song that pervaded every indie disco of 1994 including every Friday night at the Camden Palace.  

The preceding album, Modern Life is Rubbish, had shown that there was more to Blur than their shoe gazing debut but Park Life was the album that sent their popularity through the roof.

It's a very British album.  

It's roots lay more with Weller's take on our culture than Oasis' throw away lines ever did and the music that lay within had a deft touch with a smidgen of class.

You could also dance your nuts off to most of it.

The stories and characters within the songs make it feel alive, even now, sixteen years later it still feels relevant as a snap shot of the early 1990s. 

The Parklife single became the signature tune but it's hardly reflective of half of what's contained within, although sadly, for many, it'll be what it's remembered for.  

End of a Century, three songs in, hints at what's to come, a brilliant, wry take on life of a late twenty something as the 20th Century drew to a close. 

Listening to it now songs like To The End still stir the emotions, the words so rich and perfect the French backing track adding a deliberate exoticness to Albarn's barrow boy vocal style.  

It always reminds me of goodbye's at train stations.  I don't know why.

Everyone should own this album for one song though.  If you don't own it, love or hate Blur, you have to have it.  

This Is A Low is so beautifully written and performed, perhaps the first time where Coxon's guitar playing started to sing and Albarn's vocals shone by being understated.  Simply wonderful.  And that ending, all potent and gorgeously arranged is just so sumptuous.  

Do Blur ever wish they'd not stuck Lot 105 on the end of the album straight after it?  Possibly.

There's much to love about Parklife but it's also easy to see why Blur get so much stick for the music they produced during that period.  

They had a sound for three albums and it was a formula that had run it's course by the follow up but they showed, unlike they're main competitor of the time, that they could reinvent themselves and, dare I say it, grow up.

Remember it for This Is A Low and Clover Over Dover, not for Phil Daniels.


No comments: