Every Blur album sounds different, except, well, sounding Blurish. You know what I mean.
In the past, Blur seemed ready to reinvent themselves to hop on any bandwagon leaving the station. With 13 they have come full circle and became without a doubt Blur. At least for the moment.
With Blur always changing their tune, critics have called them too clever. No one likes a smart ass. And Damon Albarn is sort of the poster child of pratt. But he is also a fucking great musician. Teamed with the most underrated indie guitar god, Graham Coxon (yeah I didn't buy his solo album either) Blur range from little pop ditty to full on sonic noise annoys. Almost Mary Chain punk.
Do any of you remember the first single released after Leisure? I do. It was Oily Water. I remember being down the pub when I first heard it. I was like,
"This is fucking brilliant, man! It's Blur? Well, yeah this is fucking tops!"
13 is an album full of Oily Waters. And first time Blur producer William Orbit has twisted the songs into heart wrenching suicide notes with guitar. Yeah, poor Damon has split with the most overrated indie goddess Justine Elastica (yeah, I bought her fucking album too) and has written the most pain-inflicted sorrow album since Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen.
The first song and single, Tender, clocking in at over seven minutes, is both spiritual ballad and country hootenanny. It is close to the best thing they have ever recorded.
No Distance Left to Run is Damon's modern day Jealous Guy. Gone is his sing songy little pop voice. It is replaced with bared raw emotion. And you know he is not faking it just for effect. The cleverness is gone and true art remains.
The rest of the album, between those two songs, is all filler of the best kind. Experimental pop punk and spacey intoxicating rock and roll. Blur is back on top of Oasis again. Let the debate start here.