England - Full Moon 82 - 06/14/03
Blur are shite! A quotation from a t-shirt made by Mogwai. Well, I like Mogwai. And
Blur. And; they're still able to impress. As I wrote some two and a half years back I then thought
it was the end of Blur, but they proved me wrong. The Blur best-of, the Gorillaz project and Graham
Coxon taking his guitar leaving seemed to close the Blur chapter. Damon Albarn moved on to Africa
for the Mali-music project (which reminds me to get to see Afel Bocoum at this year's Roskilde
Festival), but then the remaining three got back together for another album.
Think Tank is Blur's 7th full-player, and probably one of their best. Blur is
better (maybe also Modern Life Is Rubbish), but I really enjoy most of this new album. They've
moved far away from the quirky pop of Parklife hits like "Girls And Boys" and "Country
House", which I both found (still find!) extremely annoying. They've also long since left the Kinks
"lane", and they now operate more experimental fields, almost into Radiohead territory (but without
the whining and paranoia of Mr. Yorke).
Album opener "Ambulance" is not a commercial flirtation, and will probably scare off some quite
easily. It's quite a fascinating starter though, before they pull off with the single choice; the
calm and pleasing "Out of Time". I thik I prefer their quieter songs the better this time. On a
couple of tracks - "Crazy Beat" and "We've Got A File On You" - they "punk on!", but a band with
the energetic "Song 2" in their CV, well...it's just a too hard act to follow. The swaying "Caravan"
is one of the quiet pearls. Slow-floating, hypnotic, dreamlike. "Sweet Song" is simply...sweet,
but in a positive sense, simply being a really nice song. I also find the weird and quirky "Jets"
amusing, with its monotony and distortion, and with one line of lyrics only:
'Jets are like comets at sunset'.
But what really makes this album is closing track "Battery In Your Leg" (which also credits
Coxon as composer), which is Blur's finest, uh, "power ballad" ever! A beautiful song to put on
repeat. Yep. "Battery In Your Leg" is great. From its first piano chords, to the end. I wonder where
Blur will go next. Go find Graham maybe?
Copyright © 2003 Håvard Oppøyen